Western Costume Company was the main supplier of outfits to the 1943, 1949, and 1966 Batman franchises. Typically, the capes and bodysuits were found with the Western Costume label, often bearing the name of the actor. A 1943 Lewis Wilson cape, 1943 Douglas Croft Robin Tunic, and 1966 Adam West Batman Test Costume all featured the Western Costume Company label. Gloves, boots, shorts, belts, etc, are highly collectable, but may have been issues sans manufacturing tagging. In many instances, the items were custom built on the set for the actors.
The cowls were often custom made at the studios, and were not found with any identifying supplier labels. The 1943 Batman cowl is referred by many as the “Devil” cowl because the ears look like horns and sit directly on top of the head. Next, the 1949 Batman Cowl is called the “Bull” Cowl as the ears were moved to the top side of the mask. Adam West was outfitted with the now iconic fiberglass shell which was covered with a special satiny material.
It is interesting to note that the 1966 TV Test Costume was manufactured with the ears sitting higher on the cowl, following the style of the 1943 and 1949 versions. The staff of William Dozier productions immediately identified the problems of the ears being cut off from view of the camera for close up shots of Batman. The fix was to move them down to the middle of the cowl.
The solving of a technical problem lead to one of the most iconic costume looks of all time, Adam West’s 1966 Batman cowl!
Costumes & Props Wanted
I am looking for original costumes from the 1943, 1949, and 1966 Batman series. The actors that played Batman were Lewis Wilson (1943), Robert Lowery (1949), and Adam West (1966). Robin was played by Douglas Croft (1943), Johnny Duncan (1949), and Burt Ward (1966-1968). We are also looking for Yvonne Craig Batgirl costume, Catwoman (ErthaKitt, Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether), and the villians that include: Burgess Merideth (Penguin), Cesar Romero (Joker), Frank Gorshin/John Astin (Joker) various Henchman, G.O.O.N.S., and special guest stars such as Roddy McDowall (Bookworn), Victor Bruno (King Tut), etc.
Also looking for scripts, props, weapons, guns, parts of the set, background signs, set used posters, background costumes, etc.