Typewriter of the moment: L. Frank Baum, in 1899


L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wizard of Oz and other stories, at work at his typewriter in 1899, the year before his first Oz book was published.

L. Frank Baum at his typewriter in 1899

L. Frank Baum at his typewriter in 1899. Where?

Bonus: I found the photograph illustrating an essay by Kennesaw State University historian David B. Parker in the Bluegrass Express, a reprint of his 1994 article in The Journal of the Georgia Association of Historians, on the claim that The Wizard of Oz was written as a populist parable.

Every history teacher ought to read that article.

http://thebluegrassspecial.com/archive/2009/october2009/ozpoppycockoct09.php

4 Responses to Typewriter of the moment: L. Frank Baum, in 1899

  1. Baum traveled through Kansas by train with the theatrical company presenting his first successful stage show, The Maid of Arran.

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  2. Thanks for stopping my blog and commenting on my Frank Baum post, which led me here! Baum may not have intended “The Wizard of Oz” to be a political allegory, but he used figures commonly known at the time he wrote his book as political allegories, such as the Scarecrow and the Tinman. He was an interesting mix of entertainer and political columnist as a stamp dealer, poultry breeder, printer, publisher, shopkeeper, Republican newspaper owner, reporter, broadway musical producer/playwright and storyteller. I can’t keep up with him! It was great how he brought notoriety to Kansas as a gray and tornado-prone state, when he supposedly never visited our fair state. He chose it, supposedly, because it was more famous than South Dakota.

    It was fun that someone in the article you linked talked about charting all of the possible allegories in Oz.

    I also was interested in the reference to the White City of the Chicago world’s Fair as inspiring Baum’s Emerald City. Did you read “TheDevil in the White City” by Erik Larson? One of the workers on that fair was Walt Disney’s father, and it was said that the Chicago World’s Fair inspired his own vision for Disneyland.

    What about the mathematical allegories in “Alice in Wonderland”? Can no children’s story be simply taken at face value?! http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/opinion/07bayley.html
    Op-Ed Contributor
    Algebra in Wonderland
    By MELANIE BAYLEY
    Published: March 7, 2010
    The other-worldly events in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” can be interpreted as satire on 19th-century advances in mathematics.

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Almost definitely not Chicago. Didn’t know about the cottage. Thanks.

    Wikimedia has the photo, claiming it’s in the public domain, but from the New York Times archives.

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  4. j a higginbotham says:

    Possibly “The Sign of the Goose” cottage in Macatawa Park, Michigan. The slope would rule out Chicago’s Humboldt Blvd.

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