Blog Archives

Finding Treasures: Raggedy Ann & Andy

When I was a kid I collected dolls. Actually, I collected dolls when I was adult, too, but had to sell them off to free up some space. I’ve recently become fascinated with dolls again, either making them myself or taking their photos. Not long ago I had to research rag dolls, which is probably what has sparked my interest in them again.

On another note, I am a huge bargain hunter. I like to buy really cool things for as little as possible. I’m not a big fan of bargaining, however, but if the price is right – I am on it!

This is one of my latest garage sale finds. I don’t know if Raggedy Ann and Andy here were handmade or authentic, but Andy’s clothes have an actual tag. They both need some TLC, but the price I paid for them – whether or not they are the genuine article – couldn’t be beat. When kids come to play, the $2 I spent on this couple makes it worthwhile!

Raggedy Ann & Andy

Raggedy Ann


Needs TLC

Rag and Cloth Dolls – History and Facts

1. Rag dolls made of rough cloth and calico clothing were found in hideouts on the Underground Railroad during the late 1800s.
Woodruff, V. (1996). Childhood companions. Country Living, 19(8), 42. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

2. The name Raggedy Ann, probably the most recognized rag doll, comes from a combination of two poems, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphan Annie” by James Whitcomb Riley. The doll was named by a cartoonist named Johnny Gruelle, who entertained his dying daughter with stories, using a handmade doll found in the attic around 1915.
RAGGEDY ANN. (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century, 390. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

3. During the 1930s, several high-priced wooden factory dolls were being produced by men, so women bonded together to make their own affordable rag dolls.
New England Cloth Doll Co. gives rag doll its comeback. (1995). New Hampshire Business Review, 17(12), 6. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

4. The “Popsi doll” was created in 1994 by a California woman named Geraldine McCains. Popsi is made from recycled materials, including soda bottles, and other environmentally friendly goods. The doll’s packaging? A recycled two-liter bottle.
Block, D. (1997). Doll spreads recycling message. In Business, 19(6), 25. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

5. In 1997, the White Plains Public Library in New York held an exhibition of 17 rag dolls made by homeless men and women.
LYNNE, A. (1997, June 22). Dolls Made by Homeless on Display. New York Times. p. 7. Retrieved from EBSCOhost..

6. Miss Columbia, a 19-inch rag doll, has been traveling all over the U.S. and around the world since 1902. The doll carries a journal for guests to sign, and she helps raise money for children’s charities.
A Doll’s Big Adventure. (1999). Time for Kids, 5(11), 7. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

7. Cloth dolls may have painted or sewn faces, wool or human hair, and may consist of a variety of found materials, such as wood, fur, leather, beeswax, and soap.
Canadian Museum of Civilization. (n.d.) Retrieved from

8. Ancient dolls made of wool have been found dating as far back as 3000 BC, some found in children’s graves.
doll. (2011). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from

9. For some doll makers, felt is the preferred material for rag dolls, due to its ability to stiffen and press over a mold if needed.
The V&A Childhood Museum. (n.d.) Retrieved from

10. A poppet is another type of doll – “small human figure used in witchcraft and sorcery,” c.1300, early form of puppet (q.v.). Meaning “small or dainty person” is recorded from late 14c.; later a term of endearment.
poppet. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved June 13, 2011, from website: