When L. Frank Baum wrote his iconic tale “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy’s slippers were silver. When Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer made the 1939 film classic, the shoe color was changed to red to take advantage of the modern Technicolor technology.
They used several pairs in the filming but only a handful are known to exist today. You can find a mismatched pair of those famous shoes at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. They were painstakingly restored by the experts at our nation’s most famous museum and are everything you would expect them to be.
It is possible that I completely nerded out over this iconic movie memorabilia.
Having grown up watching the Wizard of Oz on television every Easter, Dorothy’s ruby slippers are an important part of my childhood. They were important to my grandmother too. This was the first movie she saw in a theater. Can you imagine that the first time you sat in a movie theater was to experience the moment when Dorothy opened the door of her displaced home to find herself in the magical, vibrant, extraordinary world of L. Frank Baum?
As for me, I just walked around these shoes and attempted not to drool.
That’s the amazing thing about the Smithsonian museums. They have gone around the country gathering up incredible artifacts, the famous and the obscure, telling the stories that make up the fabric of our identify.
I’ll sprinkle in more stories and pictures here and there as time allows.