Iron History

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04/18/2002 Entry: "Iron History Apr 19-May 2, 2002"

Please notice the 'extra' listing of NABBA Universe winners, on the intro page, and the listing regarding thick bars. If you have a request for an 'extra' listing, please let me know. Perhaps we can come up with the data for your request.

News: At the IFBB website there is a wonderful reprint of a David Chapman piece on the early bodybuilding competitions staged by Sandow.

Correction: Although fully aware that many pen names have been used by writers in our field for the past several decades, only rarely can true identities be discovered for these writers. Vince Basile informs me that it was he, using the name Ray Beck, who wrote the Mar 1971 Mr. Canada Report for Muscle Builder magazine. Vince offers: "I put his name on there so it wouldn't look bad that the winner wrote about himself". He did a similar thing in Ironman using the name "An Observer". This was the only time Beck's name was so used by Vince, so apparently the other dozen or so pieces with Beck's name were in fact written by Beck, UNLESS, it was a situation similar to what York's mags offered, wherein more than one writer used the name Jay Carroll.

Reminds one of the old days when John Carroll Grimek (middle name, he told me, was NOT Carl "two r's, two l's, he said)) used the obvious pen name J.C. Gee, and a letter from a reader in the Sep 1938 issue of S&H asking if Gee was Grimek was affirmed by the editor.

Thanks to those of you who have bemoaned the loss of Iron History's every Friday appearance, but the first and third Friday schedule is working better for me.

Some news about Bud Jeffries can be found in INCH 101: part 9 below.

Continuing the Chronology:

Apr 19, 1927 Val Pasqua born. Competed in the AAU America three times, placing 11th when Reeves won in 1947, 5th when Delinger won in 1949, and 4th the following year when Farbotnik won. Val, not to be confused with Al Pasqua, who placed 28th in 1947, did in fact win the 1948 Mr. Metropolitan, and the 1949 Mr. New York City. Full first name was Valerio.

Apr 19, 1932 A statuette titled 'The Roman Column' was presented to W.A. Pullum in recognition for what he had done for the iron game. Photo of the artwork is in Gaudreau's Anvils, Horseshoes and Cannons, vol 2 p 158. Cost approx. $800 to make the figure.

Apr 19, 1933 Jayne Mansfield was born; at the time her future husband Mickey Hargitay was age four. They would marry on Jan 13, 1958 and divorce Aug 26, 1964. On Sep 27, 1959 the couple spoke to the audience at the NABBA Universe in London as Len Sell won the amateur and Bruce Randall the pro.

Apr 19, 1934 Bob Hoffman made the 300 lb Club. Strength & Health writer Emory Snell, after explaining all the travel distractions and training interruptions Bob had undergone for the past several months, says that on this date in Boston, at a weight of about 239 lbs, Bob was at the Eagle Bar-Bell Gymnasium, where after several warm-ups, and successful cleans and jerks with 235, then 270, Hoffman did 290. Then he cleaned 300, almost, because he could not hold it at the chest. This for three tries. Then he switched to the continental for two unsuccessful attempts before making the third attempt and putting the weight overhead. He was age 35

Apr 19, 1962 Dorian Yates born. I was sitting, waiting for the Mr. Olympia to begin a few years ago in Atlanta. Jerry Kindela showed me the newest copy of Flex magazine which had literally been specially delivered, and which showed the incredible transformation of the physique of Dorian Yates- photos which caused some of the other competitors to acknowledge they were indeed fighting for second place, those other men having seen the photos, unpublished, some time before then. It was said that the other champion bodybuilders in California would reschedule their workout times to avoid being in the gym when Dorian was there for a workout- he was that much stronger and intense in his sessions!

Apr 20, 1896 Arvid Anderson of Sweden weighing 253, continentalled then jerked the amount of 341.72 lbs. There were two main methods of getting the bell to the shoulder: clean, and, continental. The clean (meaning 'clear of body touch')', the continental allowed the bar to touch, indeed rest on body parts or a belt. There is therefore no such thing as a clean continental, or a continental clean. The terms are mutually exclusive by definition. Ask someone to explain the continental snatch to you. As a general rule, more weight can be brought to the shoulder by the continental method. These are important distinctions which some authors are eroding by unclear language, and using the terms as though interchanging them causes no confusion.

John Valentine in 1933 referred to Leo Gaudreau as 'one of the four men in America who is recognized as an authority on facts and figures relating to strongmen'.

From the only article that Leo Gaudreau ever wrote for Lifting News magazine, May 1957: "Since the accepted European method of performing a two hands jerk placed no restriction on the methods used to lift the weight to the shoulders, the Austrians and Germans took advantage of this and lifted the bar to the waist, and from there pulled it in to the shoulders with another heave, or rolled it up on their big bellies and thick chests. The French frowned on this sort of thing and always qualified reports of German and Austrian lifting by adding that the lift had been 'incorrectly' performed. The English speaking world was a little more generous and described it as a 'Continental pull-in' which became shortened to 'Continental'. It has been misused by saying 'Continental Jerk'- there is no such thing. In its most abbreviated form it can only be 'Continental and jerk'. Another misuse of the term by some present day writers who should know better, is when a Continental pull-in is referred to as a 'Continental Clean'". Clean, I mean clear, enough?

Apr 20, 1933 Arthur Gay performed a slow curl with 142 lbs. Slow is the key word, no momentum, no body swing or lean, just the movement of the forearms. If Art used the proper method, his heels stayed in touch with each other also.

Apr 21, 1912 Frank Leight born; real name was Frank Stepanek He competed in the AAU Mr. America contests in 1940, placing second to Grimek; 1941, placing third behind Grimek and Bacon, and then in 1942, Frank won Mr. America. As an aside, the maximum number of points offered in this contest was 80. Frank received 69 points to win, so if anyone claims that the judges awarded 100 points then pay no heed. Leight also was the Mr. New York City titleholder for 1941 and 1942, winning the tall class and the overall.

In 1948 he placed second to Santo Leone in the Mr. New York State. He guest posed more often than he competed: May 2, 1942 in NYC at the third annual bent press championships; May 8, 1943 at the Middle Atlantic WL championships in York; May 29, 1943 at Klein's strength show in NYC; Feb 9, 1946 and May 15, 1947 at the Mr.New York City event; Nov 14, 1947 at Klein's Stars of Strength show in NYC, and Feb 20, 1948 at John Terlazzo's show in NYC. Leight became the late on Nov 27, 1990.

Apr 21, 1927 Pepper Gomez born; would win Mr. Muscle Beach 1950 and later become a pro wrestler. I have him competing in 13 contests with his only other win the 1952 Mr. San Pedro.

Apr 21, 1963 Bill Pearl departed for India to pose. Ten years earlier he had won Mr. America and the NABBA amateur Universe, and in 1956 and 1961 he had won the Pro NABBA Universe. Unknown to the people of India, (or anyone) Bill would twice more win the Pro Universe- in 1967 and 1971.

Apr 22, 1866 John Young Smith born; died 1956. One of the original grip masters, known for his hand strength. Strength & Health magazine mentions in April 1934 a 213 pound solid dumbbell with a thick handle which Smith could clean with one hand, and it was said that in a 1926 contest he one hand deadlifted 425 left handed, and 450 right handed (see S&H Sep 1956). 1926 was also the year he won 'Strongest Man in New England'.

Paschall wrote in Ironman May 1953: "We recall how one of our friends looked at his hand in disgust. From doing deadlifts with more than 400 lbs., the inside cords which connected the fingers to the wrist stood out like the webbing on the feet of a duck. He had sacrificed normalcy for strength. His hands were like iron claws, and just as beautiful".

Smith, according to Willoughby stood 5'6.5" tall at a bodyweight of 160-168 lbs., and once performed a farmer's carry (or farmer's walk) with a 220 lb barbell in his right hand and a 200 lb dumbbell in his left hand, each with a 1.5" diameter; carried them 75 yards.

Circa 1910 when Arthur Saxon was performing in America he visited Smith and tried to duplicate Smith's success of cleaning the thick handled 225 lbs dumbbell with one hand and then bent pressing it. The bent press would have been laughably easy for Arthur, but he failed to one hand clean the bell. I am at a loss for more details regarding this incident, which seems to be accepted by the best researchers. Sadly, saying a dumbbell is 'thick- handled' is, in lifting terms, grossly vague. But whatever it's thickness, it stopped Arthur, which was no mean feat. Now if, as Inch asserted thru the years (after Saxon died) that Saxon failed repeatedly to lift his 172 lb dumbbell even off the floor, what would have possessed Arthur to try the same lift with a bell weighing 53 lbs MORE? I suspect the handle on Smith's bell was not the 2.38" thickness, but that is a guess. At any rate Smith was a grip master supreme, who passed away at age 90.

Please notice that nowhere is it claimed that Arthur could not get the dumbbell off the floor, just that he failed [at some point] during the clean.

Has anyone seen a photo of the 225 lb dumbbell, or know of its whereabouts? It is almost a perfect match weight-wise for the Millennium Dumbell which was cast to replace the Inch dumbbell which was purchased by an American and therefore left England, for what I suspect was the first time ever ( I should say left Great Britain). Anyway, no one has yet one handed the Millennium off the floor which is understandable because it has the same diameter handle as the Inch bell but weighs about 53 lbs more!

Apr 22, 1932 Chester Teegarden paid .32 cents for his AAU card in Indianapolis. Five years later he would start a lifting club at the U of Indiana and his contact address was 111 N. Dunn Street in Bloomingdale. What is at that address now?

Two months after Chet got his AAU card he wrote a letter to the editor in S&H asking for a 'barbell correspondent in Paris, France'. Chester died Oct 1, 1989.

Apr 22, 1939 Aurele Veilleux bent pressed the Rolandow 209 lb solid dumbbell. Later that year in the Sep issue, Strength & Health presented a piece on AV and referred to him as the Maine Hercules.

Apr 23, 1917 DeForrest (Moe) Most born in Santa Monica. Later became director of the Santa Monica Municipal Beach Playground- better known as Muscle Beach. He often would be the 'understander in hand balancing feats at the beach thus putting his great strength to practical use. He had also competed in weightlifting contests, winning the Pacific Coast light heavy weight title in 1948. Weighing 168 he could press 215, snatch 205, and C&J 285. His marriage to Joy yielded two sons, Michael and Steve, who should be ages 52 and 51 by now, but I have seen nothing about the family since 1952.

Moe had never worn shoes until he began school, and certainly did not wear them when first he crunched the sands of Muscle Beach between his toes in 1934. By 1947 he was appointed director and dispensed equipment and maintained the area.

Apr 23, 1932 Vic Seipke born. He was featured in Strength & Health Aug 1951 and Feb 1953, and in Ironman Mar 1955, Nov 1977, and May 1994. Vic became Mr. Michigan on Apr 15, 1951, and his other wins include 1954 Mr. Central USA, and 1955 Jr. Mr. America, and then in 1976 he won the Past 40 Mr. America in the medium division. Oddly, in his first try in the Mr. America, Jun 28,1952, Ironman listed him in its report as Van Cirsky!

Apr 23, 1939 Physique contests, in general, were so new to readers of Strength and Health magazine, which is to say the contests were new to the lifting world, that S&H felt compelled to add this in its report on the Apr 23, 1939 contest:

"For the benefit of readers who are not familiar with Best Built Man Contests and to assist those who plan to run such a contest in the future, I will report the Bronx, Y,M.H.A. Greater New York Best Built Man Contest of April 23rd." This was written by Bob Hoffman. [YMHA= Young Men's Hebrew Assoc.]

55 men entered the event by filling out forms indicating such critical factors as the condition of the skin and the condition of the hair. Apparently, bald men left that section of the form blank. Anyway, the three height classes were 5' to 5'6.5", then 5'6.5" to 5' 10.5", and finally over 5'10.5".

Each competitor had three minutes posing time, one minute each for front, back, and optional; the ringing of a bell would indicate one minute intervals. Class A (short) winner was Murray Markoff, Class B, Bill Hillgardner (who, as of about a year ago was still living), Class C, Bert Goodrich. The height classes were changed late in this report, to Class B becoming 5'7" to 5'10.5". Best chest was won by Louis D'Arconte, best abs by Harry Usovich.

Less than three months after this, Roland Essmaker became the first man to win the AAU Mr. America contest.

Apr 23, 1963 Magnus ver Magnusson born in Egilssta, Iceland. Became one of the top competitors in the World's Strongest Man contests, winning in 1991, and placed second the following two years, and winning again in 1994

Apr 24, 1883 Roy L. Smith born; died Aug 1, 1970 As of 1933 he was chairman of the Nebraska ACWLA [American Continental Weight Lifters Assoc] In 1955 when he was about 73 years old and lifting in Dallas, he was continuing to bent press, and seven years after that he could bent press about 150. Lifting News magazine reported that editor Peary Rader had chatted with Roy in 1965.

Apr 24, 1912 W.A. Pullum relates that he did not 'warm up' in the conventional sense before heavy lifts and 'Official opinion, I was told, not only frowned on my no 'warming up' procedure; it was against me breaking records on identical lifts so close on top of one another, that being held to be even more [physically] dangerous. If I were encouraged to do this, one leading Committee man said, the probabilities were that I should be dead within a year. Which, with the publicity that I had been receiving far and wide, would constitute a grievous set back for the game. That had to be guarded against at all costs, the committee decided". For sure.

Anyway, after a meeting on this date, Pullum relates how Tom Pevier was lifting after the meeting but was clearly off form that night, and having failed to bent press 177 lbs, asked Pullum if he would like to have a try at it. So in street clothes, with no warm up, and at a bodyweight of 126 lbs, Pullum bent pressed the 177 on the first try.

After a later interrogation of Pullum, Pevier concluded that "no amount of weightlifting was ever likely to kill me".

How pathetic that the myths regarding lifting are/were also found within our own community and not just among the uninitiated! And, do not you share my wish that the frequent setting of new records would be the only image problem the current strength sports scene suffers!?

Apr 24, 1949 Mr. Michigan contest won by Richard Bucholz; second place Mike Dubel. Richard had competed in the event the previous year and placed second. Dubel had guest posed at the Mr. Michigan in 1944 and won in 1945 and guest posed in 1947, then competed again for the title in 1947 and 1949 placing second those times.

Apr 24, 1961 Joe Weider and Betty Brosmer wedding. 41 years of marriage today! Betty was one of America's top, if not THE top, pin-up girl in the 1950s. Never posed topless, just cheesecake, and the one photo showing her topless has been acknowledged by the photographer to be her head on someone else's body. Joe has posed topless when he competed in the NABBA Universe (even though the IFBB was in force) placing 5th in the tall class on Sep 1, 1951.

For more on Betty's modeling career, see Steve Sullivan's "The Encyclopedia of Glamour Girls". (I think that is the title, I have the book in storage)

Apr 24, 1963 Floyd Page died age 37. He had been Man of the Month in Muscle Power November 1948, the same year he won the Pro Mr. America. Floyd, at the time of his death was apparently working as a hotel manager in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was survived by his wife Cheryl, and son Steven, and his mother Juanita Carlton.

Apr 24, 1966 John Citrone won Mr. Britain

Apr 25, 1902 The British Physique Championships. This was the year that the title was won by W. Stevens. See Webster,"Bodybuilding, An Illustrated History", page 45 for more details. And see the IFBB website for a retrospective on early physique contests.

Apr 25, 1903 The second annual British Amateur Weight-Lifters' Association Championships were staged at Regent Street Polytechnic in London. The lifts used were four: Right Hand Clean, Left Hand Clean, Two Dumbells Clean & Jerk, and Two Hands Clean and Jerk (with barbell): Winners' Totals: (a stone is 14 lbs):

9 stone: J.W. Cox 442 lbs
10 stone: W.P. Caswell 671 lbs
11 stone: G. Butler 746 lbs
12 stone: G. Butler, who was awarded the title by the absence of other competitors
Heavywt: G. Butler: 643 lbs

So, apparently Butler, took it easy in the Heavyweight fight, lifting only enough to defeat the only other competitor, B. Farnell, who completed only one lift, a 103 lb Right Hand Clean. Leon See, and Maspoli were no-shows for the Heavyweight division.

Apr 25, 1924 Alan Stephan was born in Cicero, Illinois. He would win the AAU Mr. America in Detroit on Jun 2, 1946 and the IFBB Mr. America in 1949, and remains the only man to have won both Mr. Americas.

His Health Studio at 414-1/2 Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis was featured in the Mar 1948 issue of Your Physique. The Chicago Bodybuilder reported in Jul 1946 that Alan was the first man to ever pose on American television.

Alan married Grace Pomazal (Miss Legionnaire) and their engagement of Nov 21, 1946 was revealed in the Feb 1947 issue of Chicago Bodybuilder

Apr 25, 1953 Marvin Eder weighing 198, pressed 330 lbs. Pound for pound Eder was one of the strongest men who ever fought a barbell, and one of the best built who ever flexed after having used one. The old photo of him performing a dip on parallel bars with two men draped on him for added resistance, is a staggering image.

At about age 30 in 1961, after not having trained at all for several years, Marvin could clean and press 280 whenever he chose! He benched 485 in 1953 at about 198 bodyweight, and he was credited with a parallel bar dip with bodyweight, of course, PLUS 435 extra pounds.

Eder became a very successful plumbing contractor.

Apr 25, 1966 Dave Hall, founder of the Bur Barbell Company, died. Bur was one of the plates that Dan Hollingsworth and I trained with when while we were in high school. The plates I have remaining from Bur were 'fat plates' much thicker than other plates of the same weight, so, of course, their diameters were smaller.

Apr 26, 1911 Oscar State; died Jul 2, 1984. His contributions were myriad. In the British Amateur Weightlifter and Bodybuilder he took over the writing of the World Wide Weightlifting Review as of the Nov 1947 issue and continued it for at least 5 years. Also in that magazine he ran World of Weights starting in Jun 1948 when the same column expired with the death of Vigour magazine. Later Fred K. Taylor assumed the column.

With the Mar 26, 1959 issue of Health & Strength he began his series 'Barbells Round The World'; and Muscle Builder saw his 'Worldwide Weightlifting Roundup' in print from Mar 1959 thru Sep 1975.

Unfortunately, the image many moderns have of Oscar was the confusing score-keeping scene in Pumping Iron, The Women (movie) where he and Ben Weider are having difficulty totaling some scores. It's easy to poke fun, but both men have contributed much to the iron game.

Apr 26, 1947 Mr. Capitol District won by Don Colello. The only other contest I have filed on Don was second place short class at the 1946 Mr. New York City.

Apr 26, 1963 Bill Pearl posing demonstration in India at the Brabourne Stadium

Apr 26, 1980 Georgia Fudge won Ms. Southern USA. Carla York (remember her?) was runner-up, with Debbie Charlotte in third, and Susan Bressler in fourth. Also on this date, elsewhere, Auby Paulick became Ms. Michigan; Lisa Elliott became Ms. Florida West Coast, and a young lady named Tina Plakinger won the short class Ms. Mid-America but lost the overall to the tall class victor, Cory Kneuer, who would later marry Jeff Everson, and who would (Cory, not Jeff) win the Ms. Olympia from 1984 thru 1989. Cory won every time she entered the Ms. O.

Those interested in the formative years of modern female bodybuilding will find early copies of The Lady Athlete helpful. But, good luck finding available copies! Also Wennerstrom & Al Thomas offered "The Female Physique Athlete: A History to Date- 1977 Through 1983". First printing was 1983, is now out of print, but if all the years of female bodybuilding were covered this comprehensibly, what an encyclopedia THAT would be!

Apr 26, 1986 Arnold Schwarzenegger wed Maria Schriver. Unlike Cory, Arnold did not win the Olympia every time he entered it.

Apr 27, 1878 Frank Gotch; died Dec 16, 1917 Gotch is the man who defeated Hack in wrestling, which does not at all surprise wrestling fans, but somehow seems to dismay lifting fans. A friend who has written a paper on Hack later concluded that lifters may have transferred some romantic illusions regarding Hack's strength to his wrestling ability against Gotch. I don't pretend to know.

Apr 27, 1898 George Hackenschmidt bent pressed 269.5, this was not, I dare say, to celebrate Frank Gotch's 20th birthday�

Apr 27, 1909 George Kirkley; died Jun 30, 1989. Iron History will look at GK more fully at a later time.

Apr 27, 1925 Dr. G.W. Kelling's secretary answered the phone, and her first question to me was, 'What are you selling? I assured her I was seeking information about Dr, Kelling and Joseph Curtis Hise, and was not selling anything. Then she put me through to the Doctor who had fond memories of Hise, and had some photos as well, and we had a pleasant chat. If G.W. is still living he would turn 77 today, but it seems I heard he passed away some time back, but as I made no note of it in my files, the memory is vague. Can any reader in Independence, Missouri help out?

Apr 28, 1878 Arthur Saxon born; died Aug 6, 1921 Because something is in the works on Arthur, we will simply say here that he was the real article when it came to the bent press, and to other one handed lifts. In the bent press, the world has never seen his equal, though he will have been gone 80 years come this summer. This is due in part to the fact that one handed lifts have not been practiced as they were in his day, but it is also in part due to the fact that his strength was matched by his determination. Strength was to Arthur, an honorable endeavor, and it would have conflicted his soul to misrepresent a feat as something more than it in fact was. Only in regard to the Saxon trio have I ever heard of performers willing to pay ticket buyers so much per pound for every pound UNDERWEIGHT that the Saxon's weights weighed. Of course, the Saxons made sure that their weights were a few pounds heavy, and required a fee when a questioning patron was proved wrong.

Apr 28, 1960 Jon Pall Sigmarsson born; died Jan 16, 1993. Has it been nine years since Jon Pall has died! In his day he was considered on par with Kaz. In some ways, the up and coming strength star Phil Pfister reminds me of Jon Pall. Strength historian, and a loyal friend, Larry Aumann recalls that the content of the events changed about the time, that Jon Pall, Mr. Iceland 1984 and 1988 was competing against Kaz, involving more endurance work.

Some words about Larry Aumann. Years ago when Don Ross was writing for Muscular Development, he wrote a gossip section which included a feature by Larry called 'Muscle Beach History Lesson', which I always anticipated eagerly. So, one day I called Don and asked him about Larry. Don said, "Oh, Larry's this guy in Wisconsin that keeps track of all kinds of material about the history of the sport". Then he gave me Larry's phone number, and I called him fully expecting to encounter someone whose idea of 'keeping track' was a partial effort at best- this based on my experiences with other 'in-depth' students of the game.

I was wrong, wrong ,wrong. Larry is as obsessed, compulsed, and driven as I in regard to the details and organizing of matters muscle. We have become good friends, and our wives enjoy each other's company as well. Not having told Larry that I was planning to mention him in this way, I shall not give out any more personal info on him except to say he is a collector of memorabilia in the field, is a trustworthy friend, and a reliable source of data. Plus he thinks my arms are better than Lee Priest's. Did I mention he has a vision problem?

It is criminal that he is not writing for one of the magazines. Had he written some of the pieces on history that have appeared in some of the mags, those pieces would have been accurate.

Apr 28, 1989 James Douglass died; born May 12, 1911 James is buried somewhere in Indiana. Randy Strossen and I searched graveyards in western Indiana where Randy had been informed the gravesite was. We failed to find the site. And yes, we checked with those whom one would assume would know�nonetheless a dead end.

Apr 29, 1949 Clancy Ross wins IFBB Mr. North America. At this point Clancy was about half-way through his competitive career. His daughter Carol was born in late 1944 or early 1945, and a family photo including wife Jacqueline appears in Muscle Power Jun 1949. Clancy appeared in a movie short for Warner Brothers titled 'So You Want Muscles!' in the late 1940s about 5 years after he won Mr. America on Jun 3, 1945.

Apr 29, 1979 Ms. Brandon, Florida- first physique contest for women in Florida.

1. Kathy Lewis age 26
2. Suzanne Kosak best symmetry
3. Pamela Brooks best presentation
4. Laura Combes most muscular
5. Georgia Miller
6. Susan Bressler
7. Doris Barrilleaux (there were six other contestants)

Apr 30, 1916 Phyllis Frances Jowett born; died Apr 9, 1998. Daughter of George.

Apr 30, 1940 This was the date of the letter that Emile Valtier, editor of the French magazine LA CULTURE PHYSIQUE wrote to Leo Gaudreau explaining about Apolln's two sets of railcar wheels, and how after mastering the lighter set of 260 lbs, Apollon secured a heavier set of 366 lbs. Gaudreau was not convinced that Apollon could lift this heavier set, but as I have argued before in this column his other lifts on thicker bars, to me, make this a moot point. Apollon could lift the heavier set of wheels.

Apr 30, 1949 Milton Lippman won Mr. California and history was covered in Muscle Power Sep 1949; the only other contest I am aware that he won was the Mr. Los Angeles on Jan 8, 1949 and that was covered by Your Physique Jun 1949.

Apr 30, 1959 Jim Schmaltz born. One of the truly talented writers in the field of muscle magazines. He can turn a phrase creatively with the best of the other writers, and always manages to showcase a situation with apt phrases. Before joining the staff at Flex, Jim was a freelance writer. Currently he is Senior Editor at Flex. When I mentioned to Jim that I was planning to mention his birthday in Iron History, he offered that probably no one cares. I suspect he is right- and I hasten to add why: The writers, graphics people, and other workers who compose the product seldom are even noticed by the average reader, who probably somehow assumes that each issue of a magazine somehow arrives magically composed from�well from wherever.

There is a lady at Flex named Vicki Baker, and if I can get a column by her without her contacting me with a correction, my wife and I break open the champagne! Haven't had a drink now since Vicki started. Saving lots of money! Seriously, Vicki has an eye for detail (she used to edit math texts) that is wondrous, and she examines every word of everything that crosses her desk, and is always helpful.

Anyway, Jim, happy birthday, from someone who notices the deft way you deliver a daft subject.

Apr 30, 1961 Larry Scott won Mr. Pacific Coast. Because I cannot find a specific date for another of Larry's contests, and therefore do not know where it fits in the chronology, I will include mention of it here:

In 1959 Larry won Mr. Idaho in a movie theater about noon, during a break between two films that were being shown! Jerry [Gerald] Engelbert was second. I tried to contact Englebert years ago to ask for more details, but he was away on a trip, and that effort to reach him is one of the dozens of 'I should get around to this' items that elude me. Anyway the movie theater was in Boise. It was being watched by a health food crowd- popcorn munchers and gumdrop knarlers. If anyone knows Engelbert, please ask him to get in touch with me.

May 1, 1948 Val's Gym first variety show in the Bronx at the Fulton YMHA at 17th and Fulton Ave. At least I assume it happened- I can find no results, just the announcement in S&H Apr 1948 p 49.

May 1, 1949 Val Pasqua wins Jr. Mr. America in Chattanooga, TN.

May 1, 1968 Denise Masino born. Would later change the rules for posing nude and getting by with it in the IFBB. Several women were suspended for posing sans suits but Denise has posed 'more' nude more often (in magazines) and is in great demand as a guest poser, and has not been suspended. This must make Anita Gandol, Erika Mes, Raye Hollitt, and others wonder exactly why and when the rules were changed, or at least began being ignored.

In this realm, the modern bodybuilding magazines are trending more toward cheesecake and erotica, with the exception of Flex. I write for Flex, and am not sparing them because of that, but because of facts. The models in Flex, in general, wear more clothing than the models in Ironman, MuscleMag, or some of the other mags. Indeed, the amount of pages devoted to such pictorials is less in Flex, and if the text were removed from the covers of Flex, Ironman, and Musclemag- that is, no writing at all, and the past year's covers were placed side by side, only Flex would appear to be a bodybuilding magazine. Is that a good situation? The market will decide.

Years ago Flex had more swimsuit type photos, but has steadily decreased the amount- removing the Power & Sizzle centerfold feature, and generally using as models only women who compete in either bodybuilding or fitness- there may be some exception, but that is the general observation, whereas the other mags often use women who do not compete. Which, if you think about it, may be similar to featuring men who do not compete. If the purpose of the mag is to promote bodybuilding, why wouldn't the stars of the disciplines be showcased?

May 1, 2000 Steve Reeves died; born Jan 21, 1926 Reeves may well remain as one of only three bodybuilders that the average man on the street can name. The others of course are Arnold and Lou Ferrigno. Steve is a good example of not knowing his own contest history. He insisted that he had won the Mr. Western America, when in fact he never entered it. When Chris LeClaire was researching his excellent book on Reeves, he called me for clarification on Reeves and the Mr. Western America.

For the record, here is the Steve Reeves contest history:
Dec 21, 1946 wins the Mr. Pacific Coast in Portland, Oregon
May 24, 1947 wins the Mr. Pacific Coast in Los Angeles; won arms, chest, legs
Jun 29, 1947 wins the AAU Mr. America in Chicago; won back
Mar 13, 1948 2nd place Mr. USA in Los Angeles [Clancy Ross won]
* Aug 16. 1948 wins Mr. World [aka Plus Bel Athlete du Monde]
Mar 26, 1949 3rd Mr. USA in Los Angeles [John Grimek won, Clancy Ross 2nd]
Jun 24, 1950 wins tall class & overall at NABBA Amateur Universe

*in connection with the Mar 13, 1948 contest, there was a Mr. Western America which Reeves did not enter. Only after being shown articles written by his mentor Ed Yarick indicating that Steve won the Mr. Pacific Coast twice, did he accede to the facts of the matter, and LeClaire's book STEVE REEVES, WORLDS TO CONQUER contains the correct information.

May 2, 1965 Don Holinsworth wed Barbara Byrd in Hollywood, CA. Don had been profiled by George Eiferman in Sep 1962 in Muscle Builder magazine. Don won the Mr. Novice Dixie Sep 5, 1953, tied for 8th at Mr. National Capitol, and placed second in the Mr. Oklahoma Apr 28, 1956

INCH 101: part 9 At the German Gym in London on April 20, 1907 Thomas Inch lifted against William Penton Caswell, who was usually referred to as W.P. Caswell. Inch would win with total poundage of 1,211.5 lbs to Caswell's 829 lbs.

It was after this contest that the Inch Challenge dumbbell, the 172 pounder, was first presented to a London audience. By my figuring, Inch probably had the bell manufactured in 1906, and the hole drilled into the center of the handle sometime after that. Inch would have been age 25 at the time of this contest.

The question arises, why did Inch have a hole drilled in the center of the handle? He claimed that the hole was a vent hole in the casting process, which we now know is ludicrous. It is my opinion that Inch used some sort of hook for a twofold purpose: to stop the rotation of the solid bell, and to gain a better 'grip' on the bell. This was probably achieved by using a ring with an under-stud to fit into the hole, or a glove with an impregnated stud at the base of his middle finger. These are guesses on my part, but in looking for a reason why the hole would have been drilled, I seek an alternative to the idea that the removal of the amount of weight from the perhaps �" hole would have afforded Inch the ability to thereby lift the weight. The placement of the hole- dead center on the handle is critical for the use of a stud.

Writing in Health & Strength magazine in the May 24, 1930 issue, Inch recounts that April evening some 23 years earlier. He left the bell on stage with the promise of cash to anyone in the audience able to lift it. "The bell did not look very heavy or difficult to lift, and when the audience, mainly composed of strong men�learned that L100 would be given to the first man to raise the bell overhead, there was a rush to the stage." One supposes based on other texts that only one hand was allowed. Anyway, Inch left the bell on stage and went to his dressing room, only to be summoned, after multiple failures by the auditorium of strongmen, to return to the stage and demonstrate. "I went up to the bell and raised it with ease'. Overhead?

Returning to the match: Caswell had suffered a leg injury just before his match against Inch and his total can be explained by the fact that he completed only four of the six lifts before he retired from the contest. Inch was using plate weights, Caswell used globed bells.

How was Caswell faring compared to Inch on the four lifts that W.P. completed?
One hand clean and jerk: Inch 203.5, Caswell 194
Right hand anyhow and bent press Inch 213, Caswell 194
Right hand bent press Inch 235, Caswell 201
Clean and jerk Inch 252, Caswell 240.

Notice anything curious? If Inch used plate barbells with a standard 1" bar, and could manage only 203.5 lbs in the one hand clean and jerk, does it not seem odd that using the 2.38" diameter Inch Challenge bell he could one hand clean and jerk it at 172? There are literally many, many men who could one hand clean and jerk 203 and more who cannot deadlift the Inch bell. Should not Inch, with his great overhead strength, have been able to one hand clean and jerk much more on a standard bar?

Afterwards in the dressing room Aston disclosed to Inch that his goal was to someday take Inch's middleweight title as his own.

As of tomorrow [April 20, 2002] 95 years have elapsed since Inch introduced his 172 bell to a London audience. By the time Inch died on Dec 12, 1963 no one else had managed to lift the bell one handed to overhead; indeed only a handful of men had been able to get it off the floor. Inch, of course, proclaimed that he had lifted it 'hundreds of times', implying an overhead lift. In the 38 years since Inch has passed, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, strongman contests, and some brutally strong bodybuilders have provided some very strong participants to the strength scene.

Yet, no one has been able to clean and jerk, one-handed, the 172 lb Inch bell. Actually, no one has even been able to clean it one handed. Does this situation not cause anyone else pause to ponder? Is there anyone who would argue that Inch is on a level of strength with the modern bulls of strength? If Inch (in his prime strength) could have been on stage at the 2002 Arnold Classic with the few strongmen who attempted to clean and jerk the 172 replica, does anyone really, intellectually, believe that Inch would have 'lifted it with ease' when these giants of power could do little with it? This would imply that Inch, in addition to having a much, much stronger grip that these other men- whose hands were larger than Inch's, would have exceeded their levels of strength in various aspects of the upright row, or curl, or clean.

Final thoughts: A 2.38" handle is in the hand of Mark Henry; another is in the hand of Thomas Inch (in his prime). A cable leads from one handle to the other as it passes around a pulled fixed on the floor, so that as the men pull, they are pulling against each other's grip around the pulley. Would Inch pull Henry's hand down toward the pulley, or would Henry pull Inch's hand down toward the pulley? Or, another scenario: Inch and Henry stand facing each other each grasping a solid rod 2.38" in thickness. Each tries to wrist roll the rod toward himself. Which direction would the rod turn? Toward Inch or toward Henry?

You may substitute other men for Henry- David Horne, Richard Sorin etc., and decide in your own mind what the outcome would be.

BUD JEFFRIES as you may know now has an Inch replica and is working toward a one hand clean with it. Kim Wood, who has been strength coach at the Bengals since a chariot driver's license was issued to Methuselah, witnessed Bud easily two hand clean the replica, then 'side press' it overhead, first with one hand, then with the other. Bud responded to Iron History's request for some answers, and here are parts of his email:

"Have I deadlifted it yet? No. Deadlifted it with two hands, let go with one and held it for about two seconds."�"Deadlifted 170 on a dumbbell with 2" handle."

"Most reps I could put it overhead after a two hand clean? Two."

"Haven't really tried much rep pressing with it, but will be working on that. I wonder if anyone else who has pressed it has noticed or said anything about it being more difficult to press than a regular dumbbell because of its thickness and shortness of the handle, odd balance and tendency to roll and twist. Also did any of those who pressed it use a wrist wrap of any kind? I was just wondering. I have been doing it bare handed, but thought a tight wrap might help because of the dumbbell's tendency to move."

"Can I clean it one handed? Not yet." "I'd say the handle makes the press much harder because I have pressed 212 lbs with my right hand on a regular dumbbell and I have one hand snatched 165 on a 7' barbell and done a one hand high pull with 220 chest high."

Then Bud switches topics to partial squats: "I did PR yesterday on quarter squats. Locked out 1800, set 2000 on the rack, moved it off the pins about an inch, but couldn't lock it out."

You couldn't lock out a one ton quarter squat and you call yourself a man?! Seriously, I think we all know it will be happening probably before years end, and we wish you good fortune. I'm sure we don't need to remind you to warm-up properly- you know, with a mere 1,000 or so�

Regarding the use of a wrist strap, please don't. Kim may have mentioned to you the technique that helped his son John one hand deadlift the original Inch, and the more difficult replica? They set up a teeter-todder. Place the Inch on one end, and place off- setting weight on the other end. If you can deadlift 135 on the 2.38" bar, then place the replica on one end and 37 pounds on the other end. When you can consistently do that, remove some weight from the off-set end, so in reality you will be lifting 'more of' the replica. It is a brilliant idea.

AN APPEAL: If anyone reading this ever saw Inch lift the 172 bell in person, please contact me. And, if anyone has seen the handles of his other three identical challenge bells, did those also have a hole drilled in the handle midway between the globes? And to David Prowse, I ask, the Inch practice handle that you received when you also bought the Inch 172 from Reg Park- did that practice handle have a hole drilled in it? And where is that handle now?

Apr 21, 1960 issue of Health & Strength announced: "Mr. THOMAS INCH, World- renowned Physical Culturist and Bodybuilding Instructor, has been appointed President of the Health & Strength League."

Apr 25, 1907 Inch set a new world's record in the one hand swing by managing 160 lbs at a bodyweight of 161.

Apr 13, 1912 issue of H&S carried Aston's challenge to Inch that in order to settle the matter of which of the two was stronger, Aston would be willing to contest on one lift only- and that a strong lift of Inch's- the Two Hands Anyhow With Barbell and Ringweight. In the Apr 27 issue of H&S Inch declined the challenge! Letters and counter-letters flowed thru the pages of H&S in the following weeks, and readers' eyes were left with more fatigue than either lifter. Months passed, and we'll pick up the story at the appropriate time later in our chronology.

Apr 27, 1933 at the Pembroke Athletic Club "Mr. Inch gave an excellent lecture, and also ran a competition on his new mystery barbell" Huh? New? Barbell not dumbbell?

"Mr. Inch, I am informed intends to offer a solid silver cup to the one who ultimately succeeds in lifting the bell in the same manner as the method employed by him. The competition will probably run for at least a year, in order to encourage lifters from all parts of the country to participate."

A Mr. Newman won this first heat with seven repetition jerks from the shoulder. In the few mentions I have seen of this event, there is no mention that Inch ever repped with the bell, which I assume was a dumbbell (of 140 lbs) and not a barbell.

Apr 30, 1910 issue of H&S shows "Mr. and Mrs. Inch at their country residence, The Cedars, Castle Donington." Wife's name was not mentioned, not have I ever encountered it. Anyone know what it was? Or the names of his two daughters?

Apr 30, 1932 there is an ad in H&S for consultation services from Inch.

David Chapman's offerings to the Iron Game are sterling! His abilities to translate from French, and, from German give him access to knowledge so that those of us without such skills in language (me) , and indebted to his selfless work in the sport. Often he translated for Iron Game History, and thereby delivered to us jewels that would have remained unpolished to us in non-translated texts.

David is a thinking-collector and has marvelous resources, which he uses when he writes for Ironman magazine in his Gallery of Ironmen series, which, in my view, enriches that magazine. Plus, David is one of the genuinely nice people in the sport!

Roark References #6:
David Chapman's "Gallery of Ironmen" in Ironman magazine:
Jan 1990 p 34 Harry H. Blondell
Feb 1990 p 90 Albert Treloar
Mar 1990 p 48 Tony Massimo
Apr 1990 none
May 1990 p 66 Kimon Voyages 1922-1989
Jun 1990 p 90 Kate Sandwina
Jul 1990 p 90 Siegmund Klein
Aug 1990 p 96 Edmond Desbonnet
Sep 1990 none
Oct 1990 p 82 Siegmund Breitbart
Nov 1990 p 123 Apollon
Dec 1990 none
Jan 1991 p 71 Mahmoud Namdjou 1919-1990
Feb 1991 p 66 Maciste [Bartolomeo Pagano]
Mar 1991 68 Prof. K.V. Iyer
Apr 1991 p 66 Staff Sargeant Alfred Moss
May 1991 p 66 Joe Bonomo
Jun 1991 p 74 Launceston Elliot
Jul 1991 p Bobby Pandour
Aug 1991 p Tony Sansone
Sep 1991 none
Oct 1991 none
Nov 1991 p 98 Juan Ferrero
Dec 1991 p 74 Herman Goerner
Jan 1992 p 98 George Hackenschmidt
Feb 1992 p 68 Maxick
Mar 1992 p 106 Abe Boshes
Apr 1992 p 114 John Davis
May 1992 p 148 Athleta
Jun 1992 p 98 Tom Inch
Jul 1992 p 98 Antone Matysek
Aug 1992 p 68 Leo Robert
Sep 1992 p 98 William 'Apollo' Bankier
Oct 1992 p 146 Hjalmar Lundin
Nov 1992 p 130 Ottley Coulter
Dec 1992 p 152 Alan P. Mead
(continued in May 3rd Iron History; see you then!)

Replies: Comments(5)

Like you I thought BAWLA started in 1911, at least officially.
David Webster in The Iron Game page 147 offers "It was not until 1902 that a British Amateur Weight-lifters' Association organized the British Championships."

In Health & Strength magazine December 1901 p 286 there is an article entitled THE BRITISH AMATEUR WEIGHT-LIFTING ASSOCIATION with the sub-title The Qualifying Standard Lifts for Championships, which reported on the meeting of November 14, 1901, and mentions six classes. This meeting was the date, according to W.J. Lowry when
the organization was founded, according to an article in the British Amateur Weightlifter and Bodybuilder Sep 1948, which same issue indicates that 1911 was the year of division when part took the name 'The Bristish Weight-Lifters' Association' and the other part took "'British Amateur Weight-Lifters' Association".

The tale becomes convoluted, and I have by no means reached any conclusions because many of the articles in my files have not yet been thoroughly studied.

My ignorance precludes my conclusion at this point. There are not enough hours in the day it seems.

Posted by Joe Roark @ 04/23/2002 02:31 PM CST

Then, you stated that 25 April 1903 second annual BAWLA events held. As you know, officially BAWLA goes as far as back to 1911 locating its roots. Did the first event hold in 1902 ? The two UK championships won by Maspoli in 1902 e 1903 : who organised them ?
AGA organised national events from 1900 to 1902 (Pelvier won Heavy). Finally, on my files Pullum born in 1888.

Posted by
Gherardo Bonini @ 04/23/2002 05:52 AM CST

And we are glad Joe is here instead! That's for sure! :)

Posted by TheEditor @ 04/21/2002 05:11 PM CST

Iron Game History, from the Todd-McLean Collection at the U of Texas at Austin since January 2000 has published four issues (though one of these was a double issue). As you mention, the June 2001 issue is the most recent (so far as I know).
It is an excellent publication with a regrettable publishing frequency. I no longer am connected with it, so your question would be better directed to those who are.

Posted by Joe Roark @ 04/21/2002 05:06 PM CST

Any idea what happened to the excellent Iron Game History? It's been 10 months since the last issue.

Posted by Dale Harder @ 04/21/2002 04:19 PM CST