William Beck and later Beck Costumes Cincinnati was as late as the1980's a large warehouse type building 3 to 5 stories (I do not remember for sure) They rented costumes and props all over the US for the theater and movies. Half of one floor was a sewing room to repair and make costumes (as in the case of CW uniforms they had a few originals and used them for patterns to make others). They had at least a half dozen commercial machines. I remember a large wooden barrel full of brass buttons. If a 1920's Police Uniform came back missing a button the seamstress would grab one brass and the same size and sew it on even if it was a Virginia Confederate one.
I helped a friend, Tom Kerr haul out 3 or 4 truckloads when he bought all the remaining stock after Mr Beck had sold all the guns, swords, uniforms, and other more collectable items. Even when all good stuff was thought to be gone I got a Cook & Brothers New Orleans Naval Cutlass and an engraved Brass US scabbard from 1840-60's , both had fallen behind a large drawer in the bottom of one of the floor to ceiling cedar lined cabinets on the Shakespearean Floor.
I do not want to bore you but this is some history that should be saved. We got in there because one day another friend of Toms, His name was Oscar Brewer, he was a picker but the only thing he collected was Foreign coins. He saw a wooden washing machine in Beck's front window so went in to try to buy it. Mr Beck who was at least 70 said he wanted to retire and was going sell out. He told him his Dad and Grandfather or Uncle (I do not remember which) used to go to Government Surplus Sales/Auctions with Bannerman, etc. and buy huge amounts. They even sold weapons to foreign countries. He took Oscar up to the 3rd floor and showed him a pickup size pile of long guns.
He said to pick one and he would sell it to him. Oscar picked up one and a piece fell out (Later we learned it was a Colt Revolving musket and the cylinder was loose) Oscar said he did not want that one as it was broke.(he did not know what it was) He then picked out a Colt Special Model 1861 or 1862 musket and took it back to Tom. That started the gold rush. There were drawers full of percussion pistols. Mr Beck was so trusting he just let people wander thru-out the building and bring him items they wanted to the first floor. As is usually the case some could not be satisfied with getting bargain prices they started stealing things. So finally only Tom, his brotherinlaw, myself and a handful of others could go above the 1st floor by themselves. Well just an old-timers tale of the good-ol-days. Richard