10 Things You Didn’t Know about The Wizard of Oz

1  Chesterton, Ind., is home to the Wizard of Oz Festival – which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2011. In addition to a Wizard of Oz memorabilia auction, this festival – which draws thousands, hosts look-a-like contests and draws famous celebrities including one of the original Lollipop Kids’ Jerry Maren and Robert S. Baum, great-grandson of L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wizard of Oz” series of books.

2  Props from the Wizard of Oz are big auction business – in 2005 the original hat worn by the coroner who proclaimed that the Wicked Witch of the East was “really most sincerely dead” sold for $34,000

3  Dorothy’s ruby red slippers have come to be the iconic symbol of this masterpiece of movie magic, and although an unknown number of pairs were made for use in the film, only five are known to have survived – with one of those pairs reportedly stolen in 2005

4  L. Frank Baum, author of the 1900 novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, which the movie was based on, never saw the film becasue it was released 20 years after his death

For information on where to buy and sell antiques and collectibles, visit our Trusted List of Antiques Auction Houses.

5  On Nov. 11 Bodnar’s Auction Sales of New Brunswick, NJ., hosted a 4,000+ public multi-estate auction featuring a collection of First Edition Wizard of Oz books, which included more than 100 lots

6  It’s been reported at one point during the production process the song “Over the Rainbow” was almost removed from the film to cut down on its length, but the producers and directors fought to keep it and the song went on to win the Academy Award for the Best Song of 1939

7  Jell-O crystals were used to create the brilliantly-colored horses in the Emerald City in the movie “The Wizard of Oz” and required quick movie magic because the horses were partial to licking off the sweet crystals

8  Wamego, Kan., is home to the annual OZtoberFest, held each year in October, this event draws visitors from around the world, for a weekend filled with “OZtastic events”

9  The Wizard of Oz was first a stage musical that premiered in Chicago in 1902

10  A few days prior to its glitzy Hollywood premiere, The Wizard of Oz officially debuted at the Strand Theater in Oconomowoc, Wis., – partially as a test to see its popularity in America’s heartland and because Oconomowoc is the hometown of Meinhardt Raabe, one of the Munchkins, and Wisconsin is the home state of Herbert Stothart, the Oscar-winning composer of the film’s score

You may enjoy these articles:

•  Wizard of Oz memorabilia features in massive Hollywood sale
•  Antique Trader Blog: Caroline Ashleigh pays respect to Debbie Reynolds’ collection

Related Links
•  Wizard of Oz on Wikipedia
•  Wizard of Oz on IMDB

Judy Garland sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz


Great books, CDs, price guides & more

Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles 2011 Price Guide

Interact with other antique collectors in Antique Trader’s online forum

Get up-to-date pricing for tens of thousands of antiques & collectibles on Collect.com – FREE for 1 year – when you join the Collecting Insider Club!

Sign up for your FREE AntiqueTrader.com email newsletters

For more columns and features for antique dealers, restorers and collectors, get your own subscription to Antique Trader magazine