Iron History

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03/28/2002 Entry: "Mar 29-Apr 4, 2002"

NEWS: In Ironman Sep 1958, William Dillabough wrote an article about George Jowett and revealed some interesting claims about the Jowett dumbbell, which currently is the property of Ben Weider and Tony Blinn provided a current photo of the bell, which can be viewed at The GripGallery. To what weight the bell was loaded in 1958 with lead shot was not mentioned! As the bell is shown in the photo it is loaded to 176.10 lbs.

The 1958 story asserts that Doug Hepburn was unable to one hand clean the bell and thus gain the $100 that Ben offered, in addition to another $100 for pressing it overhead in one arm military style (body upright, no leaning). Doug was able to clean it using two hands and then do a one hand side press. The ingredient that is difficult to believe is "Most cannot lift it off the ground because of the monstrous grip. Champs in lifting, bodybuilders, stevedores, big cops, lumberjacks, all try, then gaze in amazement to know that a man had ever done it." This, of course, defies credibility to think that among such a grouping of various laborers no one could break it off the ground! Certainly, the first category of 'champs in lifting' should have been able to.

Dillabough then explains that Jowett in his sixties had lifted the bell on three separate occasions, the most recent being 1954 and the event being witnessed by himself when Weider, Tony Lanza, and Vic Boff , among others, witnessed Jowett lifting it.

Jowett was born Dec 23, 1891, so assuming the lift took place previous to the final week of 1954, Jowett was age 62; if on or after the 23rd of December, then he would have turned 63. I spoke to Vic Boff on the morning of March 27, 2002 to ask whether he recalled the incident, and he does. Both he and Tony Lanza were able to clean the dumbbell using two hands, but neither was able to put it overhead with one hand, though Vic had been able to put about 130 lbs overhead, so the bell, one assumes, was loaded beyond that poundage.

Vic remembers that Jowett cleaned the bell with one hand and then either jerked it or side pressed it, but did not military press it- nonetheless a remarkable feat for a man into his sixties!

In a related matter, Vic recounts being told by Charles Phelan, whom Vic describes as being very detail discriminating when it concerned lifting feats, that Charles back in the 1920s was in a gym on a blustery winter day when in walks Jowett in full winter dress- heavy coat etc. Shedding the coat, but without warming up, George walked over to a 120 lb dumbbell that was somehow perched at about shoulder level, and pressed it overhead. Phelan was very impressed, as we should be.

Both Emmanuel Orlick and Liederman told Vic that seeing George lift 'an' anvil with one hand was one of the most spectacular and impressive feats of strength their eyes had seen. Too bad Phelan, with his propensity for detail was not privy to the scene so that we would know how heavy the anvil was. I have seen 125, 137, 150, and 168 being used to describe the SAME anvil. 125 is within possibility in my opinion. 168 would be four pounds less than the Inch bell with an horrifically worse leverage factor for cleaning with one hand. This is why lifting feats should be documented!

One other thing- after Vic had worked his magic on getting Jowett and Bob Hoffman to settle their lengthy feud, Bob told Vic that George was one of the strongest men he had ever known.

Know Any Oldtimers? If any reader has contact information on how I can reach any of the former greats in the sport, lifters or bodybuilders, and if that person would agree to share info with us, please let me know. Not all are willing to share. Here is a recent conversation I had on the phone with a VERY FAMOUS former bodybuilder:

"Good morning, Mr.___this is Joe Roark. We spoke some years ago regarding your magazine and your history of involvement with bodybuilding. Flex magazine is running a Hall of Fame series, and we want to include you because of your achievements. Would you have a few minutes now or soon to speak with me regarding this?

"No. I have no interest in talking about bodybuilding." Click. And so contact was lost with a man who for many years was at the forefront of physique.

Comment: All my axes are razor sharp. I have none to grind. So when a situation of lifting history is examined here at Iron History, I do not care if the feat happened or did not happen,- we look at the evidence and comparative strengths of a lifter and try to determine from all factors whether it is likely or not likely that UNofficial lifts took place..

Our door is open (we actually chopped it down with one of those sharp axes) for counter arguments and evidence, so don't mumble in the distance, jump into the fray and let's examine matters as a discussion group.

Mar 29, 1947 George Eiferman wins the Mr. Philadelphia at Turner's Hall in Philadelphia at the corner of Broad and Columbia. Second was Ed Wiza, third, Al Russo, and fourth Constantine Kosiras.

George left us this year on Feb 12, 2002 at about 6:30 pm. He is resting in Boulder, Nevada at the Memorial cemetery. There was not a more friendly person in bodybuilding during all the time he graced it with his participation. As with Ed Jubinville, those looking for something ill to report will have a full time search on their hands!

Mar 29, 1967 George DeHay won the WBBG Mr. Florida. The fledging WBBG [World Body Building Guild] was only a few months old at this time, indeed this may have been the third contest staged under Dan Lurie's organization. DeHay won at the Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami, and Donne Hale and Dr. Fredreick Tilney were among the judges

Mar 30, 1922 Maria Loorberg died; born Apr 10, 1881 in Tallin, Estonia. By 1905 she was traveling with circuses and carnivals in Russia. Her great feet feat was described by Willoughby: "�on August13, 1913 (at the age of 32) she supported on her upraised feet, a beam on which sat 13 men, the total weight of which was 55 poods (1986 lbs.)" She was very popular and was known as the female Kalev- Kalev being a national hero in Estonia. [a pood equals about 36.11 pounds]

Mar 30, 1959 Yngue Gustavsson born in Sweden, and competed in the 1984 World's Strongest Man competition. Some of his abilities were bench 513 lbs, squat 783 lbs, and deadlift 706 lbs. This information from David Webster's SONS of SAMSON Volume 2, which is as thoroughly recommended as is his volume one of the same title. Indeed, if David wrote it, read it.

Mar 30, 1963 Paul Anderson cleaned and pressed 440 lbs. He was by this time a professional. He failed twice to clean 460 in the clean and jerk. His best clean and press as an amateur had been about 409 lbs on Oct 16, 1955, and his best clean and jerk 440 on Jun 2, 1956. So, seven years after cleaning and jerking 440 lbs he was able to clean and press it. He turned professional in 1957 (see below)

Mar 31, 1909 Auguste 'Paris' died; born 1850 at Saint-Amand, France. He was known as "Paris, the Man with the Sail-boat" because he used a boat in his backlift- perhaps a dozen men in the boat which by itself weighed 440 lbs, so the total was estimated to be a backlift of about 2,300 lbs.

He once carried three sacks of barley, total weight 660 lbs, on his back for 650 yards. For awhile he ran a gym in Paris at 6, rue des Ciseaux.

Even as a teenager he possessed great grip strength, performing a one hand snatch with three block weights totaling 132 lbs.

Paris' life boat sailed away on Mar 31, 1909.

Mar 31, 1937 JCG measured at age 26: arm 16.9 chest 47.2 . Reports of John's arm later measuring nearly 19" simply are not accurate. John was a man with short upper arms so that he looked larger than he in fact was. His arm was reported at 18.25" in 1941, and 18.7" in 1943, the same year Willoughby reports that at a bodyweight of 188 JCG's arm would probably be 16.5 and at 213 lbs bodyweight, it would measure 17.8. Health & Strength magazine in Oct 1952 offers 19" at a bodyweight of 210 lbs. Having been in the presence, backstage, at the Arnold Classic of some of the largest men in the world, muscularly, and measured Vince Taylor's pumped arm at 19.75", I know that John's arm was no where near that large, which is not to say John's arm was unimpressive! When I met him, John was about 74 years old, and his arms were very impressive- as were his forearms.

After I measured Manfred Hoeberl's arm at a pumped 26"(yes twenty six) I took a metal ring-band to the local high school. The ring-band was a 26" circle, which fit snugly over Manfred's arm! The coach of the football team had asked me to speak to the fellows about training, so I asked for the football player with the largest thighs to come forward. Immediately all the young men pointed to a particular player, whom I asked to slip the ring-band over his upper leg. He had room to spare! Manfred's arm was much larger than the largest thigh on this football team!

Apr 1, 1741 On this date when the Spaniards lost Carthegena in battle, Thomas Topham later heard about it and was enthused to lift 1,836 lbs of water in a special harness lift. More can be read about Topham in STRENGTH PROVE'D: Thomas Topham, Strongman of Islington by David Horne and Elizabeth Talbot. Enquire through: This 32 page book is the result of several years study and is worthy.

Apr 1, 1880 Stanislaus Zbyszko born; died Sep 23, 1967 A quote from Ironman magazine August 1950: "Stan Zbyszko, the famous old wrestling champion, says he doesn't want to be identified with anything as rotten as modern wrestling has become. He was thoroughly indignant about present day wrestling and who can blame him?"- Rader

Apr 1, 1896 On this date in the Windy City (Chicago, Illinois for our foreign readers) Louis Cyr contested against August Johnson, a man whose bodyweight was about 2/3 that of Cyr's. One of the lifts was a one-hand deadlift using a bar with 1.5" diameter. Cyr lifted 525 lbs and Johnson 475. Probably both men used a hook grip (trapping the thumb with the other fingers).

Apr 1, 1923 Dan Lurie born. Ran the WBBG from late 1966 until the early 1980s. In his magazine MTI (Muscle Training Illustrated) he announced: "Ben Weider himself who's President of the IFBB suggested I change the WBBG amateur name to the Dan Lurie Barbell Club to create less organizational misunderstanding. I plan to do this shortly. Then he continued in the Dec 1980 issue indicating that the WBBG will continue to exist but "not in a non-contest promoting capacity". He had in mind testimonial dinners. What happens to the WBBG after this involves an explanation more vague than my pec definition.

Apr 1, 1946 Vince Gironda , 'The Iron Guru'opened his gym at 11262 Ventura Blvd in Studio City, California. By Aug 1949, he opened a branch in Pasadena which was run by his brother. His corybantic theories remain controversial. Through the years Vince wrote columns in various magazines.

Vince once said that at age 21 he was inspired by a Strength & Health cover photo of John Grimek, so this deduces to the Jun 1939 cover- the only S&H cover John was on while Vince was age 21. He also mentioned that Buster Crabbe inspired him. His books The Wild Physique, and, Unleashing The Wild Physique were his main offerings.

Vince never won a bodybuilding contest, but was 6th at the Aug 23, 1941 Mr. California, then did not compete agin until 1949 where he was 4th at the Mr. 1949 event. The following year he apparently placed 4th at the Mr. USA, and then in 1951 he was second in the Pro Mr. America in San Francisco. In 1956 he did not make the top 5 cut at the Pro Mr. USA. His 3rd place at the 1957 Pro Mr. USA would be his final competition until 1962 when he placed 2nd in the NABBA Pro Universe in England which was his last contest appearance.

Apr 2, 1867 Eugen Sandow born; died Oct 14, 1925 If there is anyone on this planet who has more source material and knowledge than David Chapman about Sandow, I am unaware of that person. His book "Sandow the Magnificent: Eugen Sandow and the Beginnings of Bodybuilding" University of Illinois Press 1994 is an absolute requirement for anyone hoping to understand Sandow. I hasten to add that this plug is from me and that David did not know I would mention his book, that he offered the following information with no stipulations for a return favor. Also, his monthly column in Ironman offers brief but solid history on various persons in the iron game's past. The only thing wrong with David's column is its brevity, which is out of his control. (And, my wife thinks David is the best thing since sliced bread, but since she married me, how much can her opinion be worth?)

Here is some info David provided to Iron History regarding Sandow's magazine:

"As for Sandow's Mag, it began publication in July 1898 under the name 'Physical Culture'. In April 1899 (Vol 2. no 4) it changed to Sandow's Magazine of Physical Culture and British Sport".

"The problem is that the name was changed only on the cover of the magazine, the title page remained 'Sandow's Magazine' throughout its existence. The reason that I am not so sure when that change occurred is that I have only bound volumes of the complete run, and the first loose mag that I have is dated Dec. 1901, so the name change could have happened before that time. It apparently reverted to 'Sandow's Magazine' sometime in 1902. In July 1904, the mag became a weekly. The last issue was July 25, 1907.

"The American version of Sandow's Magazine is much easier to document because there were only four issues: Jan. 1903-Apr. 1903".

We will not offer any more info on Sandow at this time. He remains one of the mountaintop figures in the sport's history; the man who mingled with celebrities from other entertainments and who was the premiere showman, if not strongman, in the sport's evolution.

If our sport had a book on each of its figures (Saxon, Apollon, Hackenschmidt, Inch, etc) that would be a wonderful library. Starting with David's book on Sandow will cause you also to lament the fact that those several other volumes of comparable research do not yet exist.

Apr 2, 1946 Alan Stephan discharged from military. Two months later won Mr. America on Jun 2, 1946, and by winning the IFBB Mr. America in 1949, he remains the only man to have held both titles. He won the inaugural IFBB Mr. America which was for 1949, even though it was held Nov 6, 1948 at Roosevelt Auditorium 100 E. 17th Street, NYC.

Apr 3, 1924 Steve Reeves parents wedding day in Scobey, Montana in the Methodiest church, Lester Reeves and Golden Boyce.

Apr 3, 1950 Marty Gallagher born. Began writing for PowerliftingUSA in Sep 1985, and for Muscle & Fitness in Nov 1991, Flex Apr 1996, MILO Jan 1996 and continues in some magazines to this day, most notably, I think, in Parrillo Performance Press.

Apr 3, 1993 Jim Witt died. Did not touch a barbell until he was past 30, but touched many that were heavily loaded for powerlifting after that!

Apr 4, 1939 Emile Deriaz died (or) was cremated at about age 60. Though his younger brother Maurice was better at right hand lifting, Emile was better with the left, managing a left hand swing with 192 and a left hand jerk with 222 lbs. Gaudreau reported in VIM magazine Dec 1940: "Although the method of up-ending a bar bell and rocking it to the back of the neck is called in this country [USA] the Steinborn method or style, the trick was an old one in France when Steinborn was knee-high to a cricket. Emile Deriaz used this method to rock 320 lbs. to the back of his neck and jerk it, this was in 1909". Emile stood 5'8" at about 220 lbs.

Apr 4, 1957 Paul Anderson's two week stint at the Mapes Hotel in Las Vegas began. In early March 1957, Paul had been performing in California, and one of the men who caught his strength demonstrations was Charles Mapes, owner of the Mapes Hotel in Reno, Nevada. Mapes was scouting for entertainment in the Skyroom at his hotel and when he witnessed Paul 'pull' (probably a hiplift) a 'concrete filled safe' out of a hole, he knew that an challenge could be adapted for the Skyroom, and as it turned out, this would be Paul's debut as a professional strongman. The Mapes was the first post World War II building to be multi-storied, with 12 stories.

The Mapes had opened on Dec 17, 1947 (when Paul was 15 years old, and Mr. Mapes was age 27). Mapes stopped running the 300 room hotel in 1984, and it has since been razed.

Specific show times according to newspapers of the time were Sunday thru Friday, Paul performed at 9pm and at midnight. On Saturday he performed three times: 8:30 pm. 11:30pm, and 1:30am! His engagement contract at the Mapes ran from Thursday April 4, 1957 through Wednesday April 17, 1957. (so, to be technical, the three performances were actually on each Sunday, not on each Saturday, because the third show scheduled on Saturday was actually in the early morning Sunday)

It just happens that those days are exactly the same as the calendar for 2002 falls also, so only two Sundays, the 7th and the 14th involved three performances- in spite of what has commonly been reported asserting that Paul performed thrice daily during his run at the Mapes for what was billed as "The Mapes $15,000 Challenge".

The RENO EVENING GAZETTE newspaper on April 2, 1957 presented a photo of Mr. Mapes and four other men and four horses and the caption indicates that the total is the amount of weight that Paul was able to lift. This was a reference to his ability in the backlift, but the famous backlift claim of June 12, 1957 had not yet occurred of course, so it must be in reference to a training claim, and the caption mentions that Paul "has lifted better than 5000 pounds".

[with the help of hindsight, we now know that figure should be "better than 3,800 lbs" because the safe involved as the main weight on the platform weighed not the 3,500 lbs that was added into the total, but 2,300 lbs.]

The RENO EVENING GAZETTE also offered this reply from Paul about why he was turning professional: "For two very good reasons. First there is the money, and there is also the chance to interest the public in weight lifting". He then added that had he chosen to remain in the amateur ranks "�I would merely be competing against myself to break records, which is a dull process". The article then credits Paul with the following records: a 409 lb press, a 337 lb snatch, and a clean and jerk of 442 lbs.. He goes on to say that he has no intentions of entering pro wrestling. The money earned was "reported to be $5,000 for each" of the two weeks at the Mapes

"For his night club act he'll use a 900-pound bar bell lifted by deep knee bends." This would be in the form of a barbell composed of two transparent cubes, each holding one half of $15,000, or $7,500 in each cube, plus the weight of the apparatus. Paul would remove the barbell from squat stands, and perform a deep knee bend with it, replace it on the stands and offer the money to anyone who could duplicate his feat. What is not generally known is that there was a preliminary feat that had to be accomplished before a person was allowed to try for the money: "The 24-year-old Toccoa, GA. Strongboy was challenged by one spectator who failed to lift a 300-pound bar bell. The patron thus couldn't qualify for an attempt at the 900 pounds of silver dollars". Actually 15,000 silver dollars weigh considerably less than 900 pounds, so the reference must be to the total apparatus including the cash. Anyway, later the 900 pound figure was reported as nearly 1,200 lbs.

These notes will show how the poundage changed:

Strength & Health reported in July 1957 regarding the silver dollar lift that the 1,100 lbs Claimed was probably closer to 600 lbs worth of silver dollars plus 200 lbs for the gear: "We believe he [Paul] probably used the well-known professional strongman's prerogative of stretching the poundage a bit, but we can tell you that $15,000 silver dollars weigh 600 lbs., and the apparatus possibly went another couple hundred."

But six years later the same magazine allowed Jenkins to report that the silver dollar squat amounted to 1,100 lbs.

Jumping back to 1957 The Reg Park Journal mentions a total of 900 lbs, and Ironman offers $25,000 silver dollars and 1,200 lbs!

By 1969 Health & Strength said 900 pounds plus.

It is easily established that 15,000 silver dollars weigh about 600 lbs, so are we to believe that the apparatus also weighed 600 lbs to gain the 1,200 lb total?

During the twenty minute intermission, Paul would drink orange juice and honey in order "to restore my strength". Then about 14 volunteers from the audience would sit on a circular platform and Paul would hiplift them "using a padded belt around his hips. The combined weight of people and platform was 2,750 lbs. Anderson stood in the center of the doughnut-like platform at a higher point." Other reports mention that "between twenty and thirty persons" were seated on the platform.

Chronology for Paul Anderson's Two Week Engagement at the Mapes Hotel, Reno:
April 4 Thursday Paul debuts for his two week engagement, 2 shows
April 5 Friday two shows
April 6 Saturday two shows
April 7 Sunday three shows
April 8 Monday two shows
April 9 Tuesday two shows
April 10 Wednesday two shows
April 11 Thursday two shows
April 12 Friday two shows
April 13 Saturday two shows
April 14 Sunday three shows? This was the night of the live remote from the Mapes Hotel To the Ed Sullivan TV Show.
April 15 Monday two shows
April 16 Tuesday and Paul was guest speaker at the Father/Son banquet for the Reno YMCA.. Tickets were $1.25 for adults, .75 for children, and tickets had gone on sale the previous day.
April 17 Wednesday final two shows at the Mapes,; his engagement ends.

I spoke with Mr. Mapes years ago and his recall about certain aspects of Paul's engagement was fuzzy, and I hasten to add this is very understandable because it involved a two week period in his life forty years, or so, previous. Plus, Mr. Mapes is not conversant with lifting and measurements, but to explain to what I refer: Mr. Mapes thought that if the floor were not reinforced, that "because Paul had such small feet and with the weight on his back during the squat he would have crashed through the wood to the concrete below." (Mr. Mapes recalled the barbell as weighing 1,500 pounds)

He also thought Paul's thighs measured 43".

He recalled Paul squatting six reps for each performance three times every day for 14 days, so he mis-remembered, crediting Paul with a total of 252 reps with the Silver Dollar Barbell, rather than the actual total reps of 30. But later during a conversation on Aug 28, 1994 Mr. Mapes recalled three reps per show three shows per day reducing the number to 126.

He also says Doug Hepburn told him "If I try to compete with Anderson on this lift I'll break my knees." When I asked Hepburn about this quote, he denied saying it. Mapes also suggested that Paul reduce the weight on the barbell to make it easier on himself but Paul declined to do this.

There were two challenges: 1. To a regular patron- the money would be his if he simply took the weight off the rack and supported it- no squat required. 2. To a lifter, a squat was required to gain the money. 3. Apparently, the 300 lb globe barbell which was evident on stage, was a preliminary, qualifying accomplishment before anyone could even attempt either of the two feats with the Silver Dollar barbell.

There are conflicting reports about whether Doug Hepburn was invited, then un-invited to come to Reno to try to squat with the Silver Dollar barbell. Doug told me that he had been invited, and then un-invited.

Certainly, the 300 lb qualifier barbell would have not given Doug pause, and, depending on the accurate weight of the Silver Dollar barbell, he may have had a chance at it. At the time, he and Anderson were the two best squatters in the world. $15,000 in silver dollars weighs about 600 lbs, and allowing 100 lbs for the bar and two 'plastic' cubes, and allowing that the cubes hung below shoulder level, making the lift easier, it is possible than Doug may have succeeded; hence his claim that Anderson's manager called and asked Doug not to come down to Reno after all.

Doug had squatted more than 700 lbs unofficially, so was there money at risk here?

In fairness to Paul, he told me in personal correspondence that the safes actually contained more than $15,000 because $15,000 left too much empty space in the cubes for dramatic effect. Frankly, I have never done the calculations to determine the cubic footage required for $15,000 in silver dollars. Mr. Mapes, whose money was at stake, never mentioned the additional cash contribution to the cubes. And, although we can estimate from the photograph, how large the cubes were, an exact measurement would be much more helpful and convincing. I did ask Mr. Mapes if the cubes had a 'false center' so that fewer silvers dollars were required, and he said no. After Paul's two week stint, the barbell was dismantled and disposed of. So, were, as an aside, the playbills heralding Paul's show.

During those two weeks comedian Dave Barry appeared, as did The Mapes Skylets- a Joy Healey production featuring Joe Kerchin and Sonny Howe. The house band was led by Eddie Fitzpatrick.

[ if any reader has solid info on cubic footage required for $7,500 worth of silver dollars, then the minimal cube size can be calculated]

Apr 4, 1959 John Hewlett won Mr. Britain. The Mr. Britain (under a different name) began in 1930 and has been held almost every year since. 1942 was skipped. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the 1956 Mr. Britain- it took place not during 1956 but on March 30, 1957, and for each year thereafter was held a year late but with the title being for the previous year! The finals for the 1957 event were held at the end of March in 1958, and it was hoped, by Oscar Heidenstam that the 1958 event might also be held in 1958, but Woe and behold, it was not to be!

This confusing situation continues at least through 1969 (for 1968) and I could offer quotes here which even an outback aborigine could not lead us through. So the question to our British friends is: When did the Mr. Britain contest again begin being staged in the actual year it was for, if indeed it has resumed such?

INCH 101: Part 8 On Mar 30, 1903, Thomas Inch, age 21 was to make an appearance: "Mr. Thomas Inch, well known as the 'Scarborough Hercules', also as a writer and instructor of Physical Culture, has arranged to hold a reception at the Health & Strength Physical Culture School, 21, New Bridge Street, Ludgate Circus, on Monday and Tuesday, March 30th and 31st, from 1.30 to 3.30 and 5.30 to 9.30. Mr. Inch will give advice to visitors free of charge, and will also perform several feats of strength, etc., in addition to demonstrating the new Whitely-Hendrickson Exerciser. Readers are heartily invited."

On Mar 30, 1912, Thomas Inch set a new record for the Two Hands Anyhow by lifting 326.75 pounds at the London Weightlifting Club. He was age 30. He had failed twice to lift 312,75 lbs., but made that amount on the third attempt, then succeeded with the new record on his first try.

He remembered this occasion in his Strength & Health retrospect in May 1939, when after his challenge with the 172 lb bell, he left the stage and went to his dressing room and "�one of my supporters ran excitedly into the dressing room and called out, 'Mr. Inch, come quickly, the money's gone." Inch took this to mean that the L200 that he had left in the care of the M.C. had in fact been robbed from him, but in fact several men were waiting a turn at lifting the 172 but, "The cause of the excitement was a huge Hindoo wrestler standing over 6 ft. 6 inches in height with a large turban upon his head making him look gigantic. He was over 24 st weight [336 lbs] and had a chest well in excess of 60 inches. Neck and upper arm 22 inches, thigh over 30, and to cheer me up a little someone said he was the only man in the world who could swing a pair of Indian clubs weighing 100 lbs each."

Did Inch measure the man, or did someone else? Why be specific about arm size but mention thighs as 'over' 30"? So he must have been using hyperbole, as may have been the case with the mention of being able to swing a 100 pound Indian club in each hand! This is something of which I cannot conceive, but certainly, had the man been able to do it, the 172 would not have thwarted him. We now return to our story�

"I certainly thought my money was as good as lost, but to my relief the wrestler's strength did NOT lie in his hands and he made but a poor attempt and after that I felt somewhat secure, because he really was a surprisingly large man, the biggest I have ever seen in my life." Now, assuming Inch was using the proper tense of language, then as of 1939 he had never seen a larger man.

To fortify my point: It is not possible for a man to swing a 100 lb Indian club in EACH hand and of that man for it to be correctly said that his strength 'did NOT lie in his hands'! Frankly, I conclude that the 100 lb Indian Club claim was false, because keep in mind that Paul von Boeckman had an 80 lb Indian Club that required his two hands to shoulder, and he certainly could not swing it with one hand. Perhaps more circus barkering by Inch to elevate the 172 beyond anyone (but his) capability?

[there are no relevant dates in my files for Inch for next week, so no Inch 101 installment will appear]

Roark Reference # 4
David Willoughby's 'Feats of Strength' [FOS] series in Ironman magazine:
July 1976 p 26 FOS are fun
Sep 1976 p 24 FOS gripping strength
Nov 1976 p 30 FOS with pinch grip lifting
Jan 1977 p 32 FOS with levers
Mar 1977 p 40 FOS breaking coins and horseshoes
May 1977 p 34 FOS bending iron bars
Jul 1977 p 36 FOS finger strength feats
Sep 1977 p 28 FOS more on hand strength
Nov 1977 p 40 FOS for arms, shoulders, chest
Jan 1978 p 40 FOS for arms, shoulders, chest
Mar 1978 p 22 FOS for arms, shoulders, chest
May 1978 p 36 FOS pressing and dips
Jul 1978 p 28 FOS more super grip feats
Sep 1978 p 22 FOS the bent press
Nov 1978 p 32 FOS some records in chinning
May 1979 p 35 FOS more hand and finger strength feats
Jul 1979 p 31 FOS related to chinning
Jan 1980 p 34 FOS great feats of strength
Mar 1980 p 28 FOS some records in 'muscling out'
May 1980 p 34 FOS neck and jaw strength
Jul 1980 p 34 FOS lower back
Nov 1980 p 30 FOS converting reps into single lift equivalents
Jan 1981 p 34 FOS legs
Mar 1981 p 30 FOS? Aiyaruk, Minerva, Sandwina
May 1981 p 36 FOS a composite world's strongest man
Jul 1981 p 36 FOS one hand snatch
Sep 1981 p 36 FOS one hand jerk
Nov 1981 p 40 FOS two hands continental and jerk
Jan 1982 p 44 FOS fifty extraordinary feats of strength

Your suggestions for these reference lists are welcomed!

Replies: Comments(9)

Followup on coin volume for 15,000 old silver dollars. I've examined the only two photos I can find of Paul's silver dollar squats--one from Randy Strossen's book shows him lifting in a fancy suit, looking very much like his picture in the April 3 Reno Evening Gazette. The other photo, from a "Strength & Health" shows a much plainer suit with an apparent AAU emblem on it. The former photo shows "MAPES" on the containers, the latter appears unmarked.In both photos the coins appear to be arranged so that one can see that they look like dollars as opposed to looking at them edge on. Assuming each coin has an effective volume of 38.1 x 38.1 x 2.5 mm or 3629.025 cu. mm. "Effective volume" is used since only one coin with a given diameter could fit into a square, with square width = coin diameter, with the proviso that there is a famous math conundrum suggesting that spheres could be stacked more effectively than their diameters would suggest, and by extension, applying this to coins, which are cylinders. However, photos reveal the coins were not optimally stacked. Also, remember our basic 8th grade math, about significant digits--that a volume measure is only as accurate to it's least accurate measurement--see above--which means the effective volume of a coin is 3600 not 3629+ cu. mm. Hence, 15,000 x 3600 = 54,000,000 = .054 cu. meters = ca.3295 = a cube about 14.88" (roughly 15") on each side.Neither photo shows whether the boxes are perfect cubes, but the former photo shows that they're pretty close at least. Q.E.D. 15,000 silver dollars could easily fit into the "cubes" shown in those two photos, unless part of the cubes were filled with something else. In fact, it looks like there's enough room in those cubes, or boxes for twice that number of dollars. This brings up the point that would the boxes be tightly filled? Most likely yes, because if the coins settled while Andy was squatting, it could whip the apparatus around, making it more difficult to squat with. Not for publication, except on your Iron History web site, since this will likely be part of the Paul Anderson section in my forthcoming
book on strong men.
Dale Harder

Posted by
Dale Harder @ 03/31/2002 08:24 PM CST

Joe, I'm being nitpicky but the correct figure is 2.2046 pounds per kilogram. Please check with an almanac. In the old days we used 2.20459, but that was changed by SI definition. Re: weight of dollars--the weight I gave is correct--check with any coin dealer. Probably the much lighter weight you're referring to is the weight of the newer silver dollar. I made that error myself, because I weighed a batch of silver dollars, with an accurate balance, averaged out, and found the lighter weight. I wrote in to Milo magazine re: this matter, and Randy Strossen corrected me on this, because I had in fact, inadvertently used the newer dollars. Of course, there is a minor variance in dollar weights from handling, etc. but not enough to be significant.In fact, 15,000 old dollars would most likely weight 883.93 pounds + or - 1 pound (roughly, 883 to 885 lb). In the olden days, people used to shave the silver off the sides of coins, and the U.S. Mint proceeded to add milling marks, so that such shaving would be obvious, and people would be reluctant to accept them; it worked. Re: weight of the bar, I think Paul underestimated--as you know the old York bars were 45 lb. and just wouldn't hold a weight of 900 lb. without considerable whipping or breaking. In fact, many of the powerlifting bars are heavier--I've heard of many 75 lb or so. Only recently, has some (Canadian?) outfit come up with a lighter squat bar that held Mickelson's 1041 non-IPF squat, with very little bend. However, the bar weight is relatively insignificant, the crucial matters you referred to are the weight of the containers themselves and whether there were more than 15,000 dollars in there. The volume of the coins would be relatively easy to calculate if they were packed in the most efficient method--i.e. stacks of coins perfectly aligned, abutting each other. We know the diameters of these dollars were 38.1mm each, and their thickness about 2.5 mm. See email to follow for more.

Posted by Dale Harder @ 03/31/2002 07:34 PM CST

If each silver dollar weighed 26.73 grams and this figure was multiplied by 15,000 for the number of silver dollars, we get 400,950 grams, which to convert to pounds, as you know, is multiplied by .002205, yielding 884.1 lbs. Add the 40 to 50 lbs Paul estimated the bar to weigh and we get 924 to 934, plus the apparatus which he described as weighing almost nothing, but which surely had some poundage, and we are 950 plus. So one wonders why the advertisement heralding the event mentions only 900 lbs.
But using these figures, then if, as Mr. Mapes indicated, 15 bags of silver dollars were needed to fill the cubes, then each bag weighed nearly 59 lbs, which 'seems' very heavy for easy handling.
Thanks for the correction.

Posted by Joe Roark @ 03/30/2002 11:03 AM CST

Sorry to be confusing about how many reps per show Paul did: He did one squat per show, and he did
a total of 30 shows, so 30 reps.
12 days @ 2 shows, and 2 days @ 3 shows.
The figures I offered from Mr. Mapes were meant to demonstrate how
his memory was playing tricks on him.
Paul wrote to me that the cubes holding the silver dollars 'hardly weighed anything at all' and the bar weighed between 40 and 50 lbs. This is when he explained that extra silver dollars had to be added to make more weight.
Mapes told me that it took 15 bags of silver dollars to fill the safes, and that each bag contained
I'll do some checking about the weight of a single silver dollar- I have heard the figure you offer and a much lighter figure.

Posted by Joe Roark @ 03/29/2002 08:28 PM CST

Re: Paul Anderson--1. I make it a total of 90 reps as 12 days at 6 reps per day = 72, plus 2 days x 9 reps per =18; 72 + 18 = 90 reps. 2. If Anderson used 15,000 silver dollars, remember in 1957, dollars had more silver, and were heavier, at 26.73 grams ea., it totalled 883.93 lb. Andy claimed 1160 lb total which allows about 276 lb for transparent safes and bar. Andy had a reputation for honesty, so it was probably 1160. Also, photos from Randy Strossen's book reveal the silver-dollar squat, to have been at least "parallel", as the term was used by Joe Sixpack. Certainly, it was deeper than some "official" non-IPF squats by others. Wilhelm states Pat Casey saw Andy do 800 x 10, and Tommy Kono saw 900 x 5. 3. I have a copy of the April 3 Reno Evening Gazette which shows a picture of Andy (most likely the same copy as the handbills that were posted)wearing a showy costume and gladiator boots, while flexing a bicep.

Posted by Dale Harder @ 03/29/2002 02:33 PM CST

Mr. Jaffin: I would prefer not to reveal who the man is.

Grimek told me he did not know when
he was born, but it was either June
16,17, or 18 in 1910. So he would have been 26- thank you for catching my lapse.
Inch would have been 21. I think what happened is that when that announcement was made there appeared with it a photo of Inch at age 17. Clumbsy on my part; astute on your part.

Posted by Joe Roark @ 03/29/2002 11:47 AM CST

Was not Inch then 21 ?

INCH 101: Part 8 On Mar 30, 1903, Thomas Inch, age 17

Posted by Old Guy @ 03/29/2002 11:11 AM CST

Was JCG not 27 rather than 37 in 1937 ?

Posted by Old Guy @ 03/29/2002 10:55 AM CST

I am curious as to who that very famous bodybuilder is, who did not want to talk to you.

Posted by Stanley Jaffin @ 03/29/2002 07:14 AM CST