Before the Batcave, There was the Bat Barn!

What did Batman's first Batcave look like? J.J. Gould describes the evolution of Batcave in this neat article over at The Atlantic - you'd be surprised to know that in the beginning, there was no Batcave. Instead, there was the Bat Barn:

In the beginning, it didn't exist. There was a tunnel that ran from a staircase under Wayne Manor to an adjacent barn, with a winch that Batman and Robin could use to bring up the Batmobile or the Batplane -- as in this frame from 1940:

As you can see, there was also a lab, along with some other rooms for storing things or running mysterious, high-tech equipment.

In 1942, Bill Finger -- the writer who co-created Batman with artist Bob Kane -- indicated the presence of "secret underground hangars" at the Wayne property. But in 1943, the new Batman movie serials presented the Batcave for the first time as Bruce Wayne's main base of operations, featuring a state-of-the-art crime lab, which he accessed through a grandfather clock in the main house.


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I saw that serial. The Batcave was a rock-walled room with a fancy dining-room table. One with bats flying around. I assume Alfred was tasked with wiping guano off the table.

And an old-fashioned phone with a gimmicked dial connected to a remote screen, so that Batman & Robin could see numbers being dialed on it. They used this to find out the number of the secret HQ of the bad guys, one of whose agents was imprisoned in the cave.
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IIRC the Batcave was first introduced in the 1943 Columbia serial as the Bat's Cave. It was only later incorporated into the comic books.

That's not the only part of the concept that originated on screen.
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So there always was a cave used for crime fighting equipment, it just was not called The Bat('s) Cave until the serial. What else would you call an underground chamber large enough to hold an airplane even if it is of human origin?
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