Public Domain Super Heroes

Aunt Em & Uncle Henry

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Aunt Em & Uncle Henry

Real Name

Em & Henry

First Appearance

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Original Publisher

Reilly & Britton

Created by

L. Frank Baum & W.W. Denslow


Em spent most of her life working on farms. When she first came to Kansas with her husband, she was a young, pretty wife but, the sun and wind took the sparkle from her eyes and the red from her cheeks and lips, leaving them as gray as the surrounding prairie. She raised chickens for nearly forty years.

Henry was a farmer who worked hard morning till night and did not know what joy was. He was gray from his long beard to his rough boots. When his house in Kansas was carried off to the Land of Oz by a cyclone, Henry mortgaged his farm in order to rebuild. This crisis, combined with the stress of Dorothy's prolonged disappearance and sudden reappearance, took a toll on his health, and his doctor ordered him to take a vacation. He took Dorothy with him on an ocean voyage to Australia, where he had cousins, but during this trip Dorothy was lost again during a storm, and for several weeks Henry believed she had drowned. She suddenly returned again, courtesy of the Nome King's Magic Belt.

On their return to America, Henry visited a relative of his wife, while Dorothy stayed with friends in San Francisco. While traveling to meet him, Dorothy was lost in an earthquake and thought to be dead. Henry traveled back to Kansas alone, where Dorothy later reappeared after having enjoyed another adventure to the Land of Oz.

Eventually, the cost of the cyclone damage and the travel expenses added up and Henry and Em confessed to Dorothy that their farm was facing imminent foreclosure so the three of them all moved to the Land of Oz to live in the Emerald City. Princess Ozma gave them a suite of rooms and appointed Em "Royal Mender of the Stockings of the Ruler of Oz" and Henry was given the job of "Keeper of the Jewels" in Ozma's treasure hoard for the purpose of keeping them occupied.

Public Domain Appearances


  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Ozma of Oz (Henry only)
  • The Emerald City of Oz
  • The Scarecrow of Oz
  • The Magic of Oz
  • Glinda of Oz (Henry only)


  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910)


  • Aunt Em has been featured slightly less than Uncle Henry in the Oz Books, despite having a bigger role in The Wizard of Oz and was named after Emily Ingerson *Aunt Em" Warn. Warn's niece was a cousin of L. Frank Baum.
  • Although commonly believed to be Gale, their last name is never given in any of the books (and, indeed, there is more evidence to suggest Henry was Dorothy's mother's brother which, provided Dorothy's parents were married at the time of her birth which would have been likely given the times, would mean "Gale" would have been her father's last name).
  • Similarly, some sites state Em's full name as "Emily Brown" however, "Em" has never been confirmed as short for "Emily" (or anything at all for that matter) and, as stated above, no last name is ever given.
  • While the original character who appeared in Oz books published before 1923 is in public domain, the versions of the character used by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Disney, Marvel Comics or post-1923 Oz books are NOT in the public domain.

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