Despite its modest box-office reception when it was first released in 1939, the MGM production of "The Wizard of Oz," starring Judy Garland, went on to become one of the most widely viewed films in history. "The Wizard of Oz" appeared first as a book written by L. Frank Baum and published in 1900. Quickly becoming a children's classic, the book inspired a series of Oz adventures as well as a whole industry of toys, games, and collectibles based on the original illustrations. Nothing did as much to solidify the images of Oz in the popular imagination, however, as MGM's 1939 movie. In keeping with Dorothy's mantra, "There's no place like home," the movie entered 45 million living rooms across the country when it was broadcast for the first time in 1956, becoming an annual television event from 1959 until 1974. The movie became a favorite of Americans of all ages, and collectibles based on the movie were marketed more and more often toward adults. From 1977 to 1979 the Knowles China Company of Newell, West Virginia, issued a series of eight limited-edition collector plates designed by portraitist James A. Auckland. They were the first collector plates produced in commemoration of a motion picture.