Public Domain Super Heroes
The Tin Woodman

Real Name

Niccolo Chopper

First Appearance

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Original Publisher

Reilly & Britton

Created by

L. Frank Baum & W.W. Denslow


The Tin Woodman was originally a Munchkin named Nick (Niccolo) Chopper. Niccolo Chopper was renowned for his ability to play the piccolo, and he is shown playing a piccolo in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz film of 1910. His father was a woodman who chopped down trees, and when Nick grew up he became one as well.

After his parents died, Nick decided to marry, and fell in love with a beautiful Munchkin girl named Nimmie Amee (originally called Cynthia Cynch, the Lady Lunatic, in the 1902 stage musical, The Wizard of Oz), who worked as the servant of an old woman. This old woman did not want to lose Nimee Amee, so she paid the Wicked Witch of the East two sheep and a cow to prevent her marriage to Nick. The Witch enchanted his axe to chop off all of his body parts one by one. After each accident, a tinsmith replaced the lost part with a tin one until eventually his entire body was made of tin. But his new tin body had no heart, so he lost his love for Nimmie Amee.

Some time later he was caught out in the forest during a storm and rusted solid. He stood there for a year until Dorothy Gale and the Scarecrow found him. He decided to join them in their journey to the Emerald City and ask the Wizard of Oz to give him a heart. The Wizard sent them to destroy the Wicked Witch of the West, and after they succeeded, the Winkies asked the Tin Woodman to be their ruler. He chose to return to the Emerald City with his companions where they discovered that the Wizard was a humbug. The Wizard cut a hole in the Tin Woodman's chest and inserted a silk heart stuffed with sawdust, which proved to be very soft and tender.

This tenderness remained with him even after he became Emperor of the Winkies, as evidenced when he refused to let a butterfly be killed for the casting of a spell.

When Dorothy returned home to her farm in Kansas, the Tin Woodman returned to the Winkie Country to rule as emperor. He had himself nickel-plated and later had his subjects construct a palace made entirely of tin — from the architecture all the way down to the flowers in the garden. The grounds also feature tin statues of the Emperor's personal friends.

The Tin Woodman has had many other occupations as well as that of Woodman and Emperor. He commanded Princess Ozma's army and was briefly turned into a tin whistle. He also served as defense counsel in the trial of Eureka the kitten.

Nick Chopper finally set out to find his lost love, Nimmie Amee, but discovered that she had already married a man constructed partly out of his own discarded limbs. For the Tin Woodman, this encounter with his former fiancée was almost as jarring as his experience being transformed into a tin man, meeting another tin man, and conversing with his ill-tempered original head.

Public Domain Appearances

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • The Marvelous Land of Oz
  • Ozma of Oz
  • Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
  • The Road to Oz
  • The Emerald City of Oz
  • Little Wizard Stories of Oz
  • The Patchwork Girl of Oz
  • The Scarecrow of Oz
  • The Tin Woodman of Oz
  • The Royal Book of Oz
  • Kabumpo in Oz
  • The Cowardly Lion of Oz
  • Grampa in Oz
  • Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz


  • The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • The Land of Oz
  • Dorothy and the Scarecrow in Oz
  • His Majesty, The Scarecrow of Oz
  • The Wizard of Oz (1933)

See Also