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Reading the original Wizard of Oz I am a little confused by the origins of the road.

It seems to pre-date Oz arriving, as people discuss their people going to the emerald city long ago. It also seems poorly maintained with bridges missing or holes in.

Building a road, especially one of yellow bricks seems like quite a difficult undertaking, so who did it?

It seems like there is not great continuity in the Oz books, is this discussed in any of them?

Note: I would prefer information from the original Baum books.

  • 1
    While it's true that Baum didn't worry about continuity, he at least tried to keep things somewhat in line. New characters generally are introduced as such. The Tin Soldier's origin logically is the same basically as the Tin Woodsman's, and this leads the two to track down the girl they both loved and ask some questions (I think this is from The Tin Woodsman of Oz). A fact that leads me to object when he's simply referred to as the Tin Man. – RDFozz May 29 '18 at 17:58
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    The Yellow Brick Road was built by the Conservative Fiscal Policy of the Jacksonian Democrats. – Clint Eastwood May 29 '18 at 18:10
4

There is a section on it's history in the Oz Wikia:

When Oscar Diggs arrived in Oz via hot air-balloon that had been swept away in a storm, the people of the land were so impressed by his majestic persona, they became quickly convinced he was a great Wizard who had finally come to fulfill Oz's long awaited prophecy. When King Pastoria was overthrown and his baby daughter, the Princess named Ozma was hidden away in secrecy, Oscar immediately proclaimed himself as Oz's new dominate ruler. And when he did he also ordered construction of an all green city to be built by his subjects in his honor. Thus, his subjects constructed the yellow brick road that started in the very heart of the eastern qaudrant of Oz known as Munchkin Country. The paved yellow road stretched miles out across all of Oz until it finally ended at the imperial gates of the capital establishment that was ultimately named "Emerald City".

But it isn't clear to me what the source is for this tale.

  • I recall that some of this is discussed near the end of The Marvelous Land of Oz (when Tip's enchantment is lifted, turning him back into the princess Ozma). – Donald.McLean Jun 14 '16 at 11:54
  • @Donald.McLean I checked "The Land of Oz" - Tip only changes at the end of the penultimate chapter, and there is nothing in this chapter or the last chapter about the Road. It's been many years since I read these books, but I also remember some conversation about Oz history in one of these books. But sadly, not which one. – Organic Marble Jun 14 '16 at 12:51
  • I found the conversation I remembered in "Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz" in the chapter "Old Friends Reunited". It describes the building of the Emerald City but not the Road. – Organic Marble Jun 14 '16 at 13:02
  • I searched all of the Baum-authored Oz books on Project Gutenberg for "brick" and got nothing about the Road's construction. – Organic Marble Jun 14 '16 at 15:40
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According to Gregory Maguire's "Wicked - The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West," Ozma the Scarcely Beloved (after 300 years of Ozmas), "...overtaxed the farmers to begin the road system of yellow brick that they’re still struggling to complete..."

Also, Emerald City was built long before "Oz" showed up. "Ozma the Warrior conquered the Glikkus, at least for a time, and commandeered the emeralds with which to decorate the Emerald City."

  • 4
    Interesting. While almost certainly not considered canonical with respect to the original Baum Oz books (or even the various books considered part of the "official" series, based on inclusion as other Oz books in the start of the various published books), this may be the closest to a canonical answer we'll find. I certainly don't recall the subject being discussed in any of Baum's Oz books, though I haven't read them in a while. – RDFozz May 29 '18 at 17:54
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    The OP said that they wanted an answer from the original Baum books. – Thunderforge May 29 '18 at 21:04

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