Still Following the Yellow Brick Road, 74 Years Later

Few movies conjure so many memories in so many people as The Wizard of Oz. This film has truly stood the test of time, remaining a favorite since its national release on this date in 1939.Wizard of OZ Books

Beginning less than two decades later, The Wizard of Oz has been shown annually on television, making it one of the most-viewed motion pictures in history. But fewer people know much about The Wizard of OZ books on which the film was based.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was first written by L. Frank Baum in 1900. Like most screenplay adaptations, the novel and the book have several differences. Perhaps the most significant departure is the prominence of the Wicked Witch of the West in the movie. The role was increased in the film to add dramatic tension and unify the plot.

Baum’s book was just one in a complete series of novels he authored about the Land of Oz. And now, Hammacher Schlemmer has made available to you The Exact Reproduction of the Wizard of Oz Library. Reuniting readers with Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow, this is the exact replica edition of Baum’s complete Wizard of Oz series. Originally published between 1900 and 1920, the 14-volume library assembles all the Baum titles in one collection, reissued for the first time in their inaugural form. The books meticulously recreate every detail of the first editions, including the typeface, endpapers, and even typographical errors that were later corrected. The original artwork by William Wallace Denslow and John R. Neill is intricately reproduced, complete with the brilliant full color and metallic inks that were hallmarks of the initial printings.

Classic films like The Wizard of Oz usually don’t become classics based on the screenplay alone; the soundtrack also serves to make a movie memorable. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” earned an Academy Award for Best Song for Yip Harburg, who wrote the musical numbers in the movie. In his lifetime, Harburg also wrote the lyrics for such notable songs as “Stormy Weather”, “April in Paris” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon”.

Lesser known than these tunes, but no less indelible, is a humorous poem Harburg wrote during the Cold War era about a fictitious Hammacher Schlemmer shelter “worthy of Kubla Khan’s Xanadu dome”.

Today, we sell real shelters that help you enjoy much more benign activities in the great outdoors, such as The Scandinavian Backyard Gazebo that will turn your yard into an all-weather retreat.

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