Iron History

[Previous entry: "Iron History May 17:"] [Main Index] [Next entry: "Iron History Jun 21-Jul 4, 2002"]

06/06/2002 Entry: "Iron History June 7-20, 2002"

Please notice the Iron History 'Extra'. We are presenting the nearly 500-line letter from Paul Anderson to me from 1990. It is presented as he sent it to me at my former address. See Jun 12 below for my comments of the backlift of 1957.

Also please notice the other Extra- a link to some of my previous articles which were first published in Iron Game History from the University of Texas. Please be aware that, as my address has changed since Paul wrote to me, my email has also changed, so references to either as they appear in these articles are outdated.

It may prove helpful to read my article on Paul's hiplift (via the Extra link) in connection with the comments in this column regarding Jun 12.

In INCH 101 (below) I include a letter from David Willoughby to David Webster. Thanks to Larry Aumann for sharing the contents of this letter.

NEWS: Word just received from David Chapman that his book "RETRO STUD: Movie Posters From Around the World" hardcover with jacket will be published this September from Collectors Press. ISBN: 1-888054-69-7 for $16.95. It will have 128 pages and be sized 8" x 8-1/2". We will have more specific ordering info available later.

David lives in Seattle where he is a teacher of English and of history. This book should be a wonderful addition to the iron history library!

New Feature: Red Pencil Notes: Occasionally, I will add this to keep the history on the up and up. No mentions of training methods, or steroids, or supplements, just a mention when provable, factual, errors are presented. This is done whenever an error is noticed in my material here also. You are welcome to send in any corrections you notice.

So let's start with my own material. In the Jan 11 column I offered that John Davis had not lost a lifting contest from 1938 until 1953. This is a statement that I did not double- check but should have. Davis lost some contests in 1938. Although I did not specify, I was referring to weightlifting contests involving the three standard lifts- not, for example, bent press contests.

Feb 11, 1938 Junior WL chps at German/American Athletic Club he placed 3rd. May 29-30, 1938 Sr, Nats he placed 2nd. And, checking with Larry Aumann, who keeps detailed accounts of Strength & Health reports, I learned that Davis placed 2nd at the North American championships on Sep 5-7, 1938. There may be other loses which I have not researched, but my Jan 11 statement as presented was incorrect. Sorry, and thanks for the info, Larry.

Elsewhere, the August MuscleMag International has some factual errors that should be mentioned and corrected. On first, quick, reading. These matters stood out:

Page 184 The hack squat is described as involving the bar being straddled. No. Hacke is German for heel, and when Hackenschmidt performed the hack squat, he brought the bar close to his heels- the bar being behind both legs. Hack was not aware that the lift was being called a hack squat (in his honor) until about 1958 when he was told about it. The lift being described is the [Charles] Jefferson lift.

Page 267 Jack LaLanne is credited with winning the Pro Mr. America. He did not. I am unaware that Mr. LaLanne ever won any bodybuilding contest.

Page 274 Eric Pedersen (real name Eric Putnam) is mistakenly called Eric Patterson.

If you notice items which are incorrect, whether here or elsewhere, please let me know.

Jun 7, 1928 Reg Park. We are not referring here to the Reg Park mentioned in Strength & Health Mar 1962, the wrestler from Canada. We refer here to THE Reg Park, about whom I have never heard a foul word, or seen eyes roll. Simply a gentleman, who was very kind to me this year at the Arnold Classic- well actually at a shopping mall downtown where I saw him walking hand in hand with his wife and approached him for a couple of questions. They were both gracious and made me feel as though I was not intruding, which I knew I was, but how many opportunities does one have to chat with a man who has been pivotal in 20th century bodybuilding?

Had I not chatted with them I would not have learned that when Reg owned the Thomas Inch dumbell, he also received the Inch loadable handle, which apparently was sent with the dumbell to David Prowse. Where is that handle now?

Jun 7, 1939 Charles Batta died; born Aug 17, 1866. In some ways, second only to the great Apollon in overall grip strength, a position he readily acknowledged after he had been defeated by Apollon in 1889.

Batta challenged Apollon, who "�brought over to Batta's place several of his block- weights and a heavy, thick-handled barbell, then went into action. First, he easily snatched with one hand four 44-pound blockweights together, a total of 176 pounds. This collection of weights Batta could get overhead with one hand only by using a bent press. Next Apollon effortlessly cleaned and raised overhead his thick-handled barbell, which weighed 260 pounds. Batta, managed to get this weight to his shoulders, but could raise it no higher. After realizing the futility of 'competing' further with the huge Apollon, Batta became a great admirer of the incomparable French Hercules." Ironman Jan 1958

Batta died on Jun 7, 1939 at age 72.

Jun 7, 1953 Greg DeFerro born, so becomes 49 today. His three entrances into the Night of Champions contest yielded: 1981-7th; 1982-9th; 1983-2nd.

Jun 7, 1980 The first female to guest pose in the state of Arizona was Billi Walker who performed that function at the Mr. Arizona on this date, as Jim McGrath won the contest. On the same day in Pennsylvania Susan Koch was winning that state title.

Jun 8, 1914 Joe DePietro born; died Mar 19, 1999

Jun 8, 1941 Randy Watson born in Martain, TN. On Dec 14, 1962 he won the title Mr. Tennessee, then became Jr. Mr. America on Jun 1, 1963. His four attempts at the Mr. America yielded: 1963-7th, 1964-3rd, 1965-3rd, and 1966-4th. As I recall Randy was a minister in the Church of Christ for awhile, but in recent years had been working for a commercial company.

Jun 8, 1946 On this date in Oakland, California under and over age 18 contests were staged for the Mr. Northern California. The Under 18 contest was won by Art Powers who took the short class, best back, most muscular, and overall. In the 18 and over contest Jack Delinger won the medium height class and the overall as well as best arms, chest, legs, most muscular. Elias Rodriques who placed second to Jack in the medium class managed to win best back.

Jun 8, 1977 Karo Whitfield died. Karo NEVER learned to drive a car, or at least, he NEVER did according to what I have been told. He witnessed Paul Anderson at the Tennessee Weightlifting Championships squat with 660.5 lbs on Dec 27, 1952 when Paul was age 20. Karo was an official on Sep 5, 1953 when Anderson erased John Davis' press record of 342 by lifting ten pounds more. It was once claimed that Anderson worked out weekly in Whitfield's Atlanta gym, but this was sternly denied by the Anderson camp: In Ironman May 1956 p 36 "A relative of Paul's writes: 'Paul never trained five minutes in Whitfield's Gym. Atlanta is 96 miles from Toccoa over mountain roads. Why would he make that trip 'once a week' to work out when he has all his equipment at home'" It turned out though that Paul was registered with Whitfield's Gym in the A.A.U. and some photos were taken at the gym for an article for the Atlanta Journal while Paul was in Atlanta one day.

Supposedly, Whitfield was one of the witnesses for Paul's Jun 12, 1957 backlift record, but Karo never wrote of it during the next twenty years of his life, dying Jun 8, 1977. Also in this regard Prof. John Fair read all copies of the newspaper which Maurice Payne worked for- read more than a year's worth following the backlift, and Payne never mentioned it in print, though Paul made a point that the newspaperman was a witness, which infers, even if he did not imply, that the newspaperman was there as a newsman, thus would use the medium for which he was trained, and received a paycheck, to communicate the details of a lift which surpassed the previously best known backlift by in the neighborhood of one ton! Nope.

Jun 8, 2000 Eddie Silvestre died; born Nov 22, 1931. Movie star in Mexico, contest promoter. Married Doris Feldman Jan 9, 1965. Children Elena, and twins Iliana & Lorena. Eddie graduated from UCLA. Was Mr. Mexico 1952, 1953, 1954.

Eddie was born in San Diego and competed in the AAU Mr. America in 1954 not making the top ten; he did win the Mr. Americas in 1957 but this was not the AAU Mr. America. In 1990 he was inducted into the Mexican Sports Hall of Fame. Orlick profiled Eddie in Muscle Training Illustrated in Nov 1965, and Redpath wrote of Eddie's new gym in Ironman Jul 1958. S&H Jun 1953 had a cover man story on him, and Muscular Development noted his gym closing after 42 years in the Aug 1993 issue.

Jun 9, 1874 Launceston Elliot died or buried?; born Aug 9, 1930. There is a man in Australia who sent me some photos of Launceston's gravesite, which was located after much research. The grave is unmarked, and the man is trying to raise funds for a suitable marker.

Jun 9, 1891 The German Athletic Association began

Jun 9, 1936 Lloyd Lerille born; became 1960 Mr. America, after his only other attempt, in 1959 landed him in 7th.

Jun 9, 1968 Bob Bednarski C&J 486.5 lbs. `

Jun 9, 1974 Ron Thompson wins Mr. America. Three months later he placed second in the medium height class at the NABBA Amateur Universe (Roy Duval won). The following year Ron placed 4th in the medium class and then I don't know what happened to him- no references to him in the mags after 1975.

Jun 10, 1939 America's Finest Physique contest in Amsterdam, NY. The judges were Sig Klein, Joe Bonomo, Otto Arco, Bob Hoffman, a local newspaper writer, name unknown to me, G.F.Davis (who was a local high school art teacher) and Wib Scharzberger. Lights were used, there was a revolving platform, and music was played. Pro athletes were allowed to compete against and among the amateurs, hence this was not strictly an AAU Mr. America, even though the winner Bert Goodrich has, over the years, been transported retroactively to that title improperly.

Jun 10, 1954 Otis Lambert died at age 87. The measurements that Willoughby offered for Otis in Your Physique Apr 1949 were interesting. At 5'5.6" and 161 lbs his shoulder width was 19.7, his waist 31.1". Very proportioned build and thus in use as an artist's model which profession he pursued in 1948-1949 at an art school in Rochester, New York. Many years ago, while still in our teens, my buddy Dan Hollingsworth and I applied to be artist's models at the U of Illinois in Urbana. I suspect only the thick stone walls of the ancient building prevented us from hearing the secretary's laughter as we walked away just knowing that the phone would ring very soon so we'd better hurry to our respective houses. Still waiting for the call.

Jun 10, 1967 Dennis Tinerino wins Mr. America in Columbus, OH.

Jun 10, 1972 By winning the Mr. Australia contest on this date, Frank Columbera became the first man to win the title twice.

Jun 10, 1973 James Morris wins Mr. America in Williamsburg, VA.

Jun 10, 1996 Bob Hise died; born May 25, 1919

Jun 11, 1911 Chick Deutsch born; is he still with us? His training routine was presented in S&H Nov 1940, and his story in Muscle Power Nov 1946. So far as I am aware his only attempt at the Mr. America was rewarded with 4th place overall in 1940 and a win in the best abs.

Well, for some reason, I had in my files that John McWilliams was born on Jun 11, 1922, so I planned a feature on him, but after speaking to him just now, I learned that he was in fact born on Jan 11, 1922, not in June. Nonetheless, we'll present the info for him now even though it is not in chronological order. John and his wife Ethel live in Tennessee now and his son John lives in Ohio.

Freida McWilliams, who wrote three articles for Physical Power in the early 1960s was John's first wife. She passed away about four or five years ago. Lucia McWilliams' marriage to John is the union that produced son John who was born in 1953. She passed away in Apr 2001. John is now married to Ethel, and it was she who answered the phone when I called to speak with John at eleven o'clock on Jun 6, 2002. John enjoys the climate in Tennessee, and at age 80 is enjoying retirement and has a pleasant manner. His memory was a little fuzzy on some of the very specific details I asked- such as when he offered $1,000 TO THOSE WHO COULD MEASURE HIS ARM AT LESS THAN 19.5" or was it 20.5"- he could not recall. So below I offer the info that was presented in various mags thru the years.

In Feb 1940 he wrote a letter to the editor at Strength & Health; his arm measured only
1950 bench press 408 lbs, and was the only man with an actual muscular arm, cold, 19"
1950 his arm measured by Clancy Ross and witnessed by John Davis and Fraysher
Ferguson was 19.75"
1950 offers $1,000 to anyone who could measure his arm AT LESS THAN 19.5" when
his bodyweight was 230 lbs. Wrist was 7.5
1950 photo of his 21" arms
1951 Paschall measured his arm at 20" cold
1953 offers $1,000 to anyone who measures his arm at LESS THAN 20.5" cold
1954 21" arms though he claims only 20", and could curl 241.25 lbs
1955 at 230 lbs his arms measure 21", but measure 22" when heavier
1955 his arm while straight, but flexed, measured 20"
1955 offer of $1,000 still in effect

1961 bodyweight 186, arm hanging at side measure 18.75"

1964 at the Mr. Florida show he gave an impromptu posing exhibition
1968 photo close up of his 22" right arm

Contests of John McWilliams:
May 19, 1946 � tied for 2nd in Jr. Mr. America
Jun 02, 1946 � 13th in Mr. America but won best arms
Jun 29, 1947 � 17 in Mr. America (best arms won by Eric Pedersen, [Eric Putnam])

Jun 11, 1948 Lewis G. Dymeck applied for a patent on his [EZ] curl bar; patent was granted on May 23, 1950 (nearly two years later).

Jun 11, 1955 Mickey Hargitay won NABBA Amateur Universe; Leo Robert won the NABBA Pro Universe

Jun 11, 1965 Sergio Oliva won most muscular at Mr. America

Jun 11, 1972 Steve Michalik won Mr. America in Detroit

Jun 11, 1985 Vic Tanny died in Tampa. Real name Victor A. Iannioinardo]. Strength & Health presented a photo of Vic on page 29 in Mar 1935. Then he began writing for S&H with a gossip/news WEST COAST column debuting May 1941. In Dec 1946 the title changed to WEST COAST GOSSIP, and in Nov 1948 WEST COAST COLUMN, then the final name vhange came in Mar 1949 to WEST COAST NEWS.

Vic worked with Bert Goodrich to produce the first Mr. USA contest on Mar 13, 1948 in Los Angeles. By 1956 the Vic Tanny Gyms numbered about 30 locations.

Jun 12 [or Jan 14?] 1866 Milo Brinn born

Jun 12, 1947 Lex Barker's screen test for the role of Tarzan. He wore a loin cloth. Ever wonder why it was not called a groin cloth?

Jun 12, 1957 In early Mar 1957, Paul Anderson was seen hiplifting a heavy manganese safe out of a hole as part of his California performances. One witness was Charles Mapes who owned the Mapes Hotel in Reno. Mapes hired Paul for a fortnight in Reno, and this is where the Silver Dollar squat entered history. The safe was not part of Paul's performance at the Mapes.

One wonders at the details of lifting a safe out of a hole. If the safe is about two feet in height, which it is, and if it weighs about 2,300 pounds, which it did and does, then if the safe were placed in a hole so that the top of the safe was flush with the level of the ground, then the range of motion that would enable the 24" safe to be lifted up and out of the hole would be something slightly more than 24" if the safe were to be set on the ground next to the safe, or perhaps the safe was only raised up the shaft hole and moved not out of the hole but only upward in it, then lowered. Surely the second scenario must have been the case because a range of motion in a hiplift that approaches 24", especially for a man of Paul's height, is unheard of. There must be missing details.

Paul had only one safe that he used for lifting- he told me this. The weight of this safe becomes crucial in determining how much weight was on the platform for Paul's Jun 12, 1957 backlift.

It has been described as 'concrete filled', big, large, huge. In fact it stands about two feet off the ground- somewhat taller than the average height of a chair seat.

When Liederman wrote about the safe in MUSCLE POWER Feb 1957 he noted that the safe weighed about 2,300 lbs. And he explained that was WITH cement/concrete already in the safe. The type of safe is called a cannonball safe and had a small cavity because only small, valuable objects were stored in this type safe (jewelry, rare coins etc).

After I spoke with several locksmiths, and acquired the specs for this type safe, I performed some calculations and determined that the safe would weigh at most around 2,367 lbs, because it was the smaller of the two models offered. The other model did weigh around 3,500 lbs., and while it would be comforting to assume this is where the error in reported poundage sourced, such does not seem to be the case. This 2,367 was allowing for some concrete to be inserted into the cavity, but also allowing for the amount of the manganese that was cut away so that the concrete could be poured in. (The safe door was not usable).

Anyway, after I had spent so much time investigating, apparently Paul's daughter decided to have the safe weighed, and the resulting figure was approximately 2,300 lbs.

The crucial factor now becomes, how much weight did Paul factor in his backlift total for the safe? Did he offer 2,300 lbs? No. He mentioned 3,500 lbs. Just for a moment, please think about the last time you tried to manhandle a 100 pound barbell plate. Now stack 12 of them in a pile�and try to imagine attaching that much weight to an object measuring two feet by two feet.

Bottom line, after the backlift on Jun 12, 1957, Paul indicates that the safe stayed in place until it finally rotted through its platform and fell to the earth. So it was not altered after the backlift, and indeed there appear to be no welding changes etc on it. Therefore the 2,300 lbs that it now weighs was what it weighed in 1957.

Simple math demands that 1,200 lbs be subtracted from 6,270, and it may be that another 1,000 to 1,300 lbs need to be subtracted from the 1,800 lb table.

It is my studied opinion, that as described, the total weight attempted would be approximately one ton less than usually believed, so that the 6,270 pound lift becomes more in the neighborhood of 4,270. The weight of the platform is an unknown, though we are told that the overall dimensions of it are something along the lines of a household door. The guesswork that railroad ties were used as part of the platform (hence the extra weight) falters when the platform rotted through in the Georgia climate in less than five years. Ties have a life expectancy of service in decades, so they must not have been used.

This year at the Arnold Classic about 800 pounds of railroad ties were shaped into a rectangle as use in a lift called the farmer's walk. Half of those ties could have easily made a platform strong enough to hold the materials that were used in the June 12, 1957 lift.

Another puzzling mention. In Muscle Power Feb 1957 Earle Liederman wrote an article about Paul's strength and mentions a 5,000 pound backlift. This must surely have involved the same platform and safe that was used four months later for the record, so using the figures history offers- an 1800 pound platform and a 3,500 pound safe, we have 5,300 pounds, not 5,000. So even using the figures offered by those who believe in this story, the total does not add up correctly. Or, if one supposes that the 1800 lb table was used but that the safe was not, then 3,200 lbs of assorted weights would be required to total 5,000.

The Guinness Book of Superlatives 1956: "The greatest weight ever lifted by a human being is 4,133 lbs." [by Louis Cyr] This is the passage which prompted Paul to try to exceed Cyr's weight and thus be recognized as stronger.

The Guinness Book of Records listed Paul's backlift in these amounts: 1962: 6,000 pounds.

1968: 6,000 pounds but was reputed to have done 6,200, but the date for the 6,000 was Jun 12, 1957, so when did the 6,200 pounds happen?

1970: 6,270 pounds is now ascribed to Jun 12, 1957. I have not seen the 1969 issue of Guinness, so it may be that 6,270 was listed in that edition. If so, then 12 years after the lift (or 13 years after) was the first time it was so listed. You'll notice is the letter to me from Paul he asserts that on Jun 12, 1957 the backlift was actually a couple of hundred pounds more [than 6,270] or 6,470- very close to 6,500 lbs. Guinness never presented this figure and it conflicts with other written accounts of how when the loaded weight reached 6,270 the attempt was made.

When Guinness was asked to share the evidence or proof of this lift, they found inadequate support for its inclusion in their book of records and removed it. Their policy now seems to be to include only lifts done in official conditions. What a novel idea.

One writer, noting my very large error of ascribing this lift to Vidalia, Georgia, and not to Toccoa, Georgia, says I got off track and never resumed my proper bearings. While it is monumentally embarrassing to make that mistake after having so many times written the correct city, I did it and I own it. Paul himself made the same mistake, saying that his brother-in-law was in Toccoa taking pictures on Jun 12, 1957. But his brother-in-law says he was not there, that he was in another city. Does this mean that Paul also never got back on track regarding the backlift facts?

A personal note. My motives have been brought into question regarding this backlift study. Brought into question by people who do not know that I began the investigation fully believing that the lift took place as described, and was planning to so write; but facts took a detour from the traditional story, and I followed the facts which indicate that the simple math involved demands a much lower aggregate poundage. Along this line, let's assume my motives were absolutely horrible- that the goal was to discredit this lift. How could I have done that if all the traditional ingredients to this story had been accurate? Couldn't have. Never fear truth.

Jun 12, 1960 Lloyd Lerille won Mr. America in Cleveland

Jun 12, 1965 Jerry Daniels won Mr. America in Los Angeles

Jun 12, 1971 Casey Viator won Mr. America in York, PA. With the appearance of Viator on the American bodybuilding scene, which was nearly congruous with the appearance of Nautilus machines, bodybuilding was changed forever. Although sometimes hard to follow, Casey's training methods seem to have been based on very high intense, very brief workouts.

Casey was born Sep 4, 1951 and fell into the training hands of Arthur Jones- a fortunate fact for both men. Viator won the AAU Jr. Mr. New Orleans on Jul 26, 1968, a year later on Jun 12, 1969 managed 6th in the AAU Teen Mr. America, and then on his first attempt at the Mr. America, placed 3rd in Jul 11, 1970, a few weeks later on Aug 23 he won the AAU Mr. USA, and the following spring took the America on Jun 13, also winning most muscular, and the best categories of arms, back, and chest, and legs.

The only IFBB events he won were on the Ides of Mar 1980 which was the Grand Prix in LaFayette, Louisiana, and a month later, Apr 19, the Grand Prix in Pittsburgh. So far as I know his final appearance was at the IFBB Masters Olympia in Atlanta on Sep 8, 1995, where he tied for 12th placed with Roy Duval and Rod Koontz. Before the Masters Olympia was created, critics were hurling warnings about out of shape older men competing-an argument that would have been fueled by Casey's shape. A famous writer told me after the contest that Casey still had the best forearms in the contest. So far as I know, no award has ever been given for best forearms.

Jun 13, 1914 Emma (last name?) who would later marry Harry Good, was born; they wed on Jun 14, 1936

Jun 13, 1914 Charles Moss born; died Mar 24, 1996

Jun 13, 1944 Elmer Farnham was killed in action in Normandy; born 1911

Jun 13, 1956 Leonid Taranenko born

Jun 13, 1980 or 1981 Lou & Carla Ferrigno's daughter Shana born.

Jun 13, 1981 Kathy Tuite, now married to Dr. Ken Leistner, was in Kokomo, Indiana competing in the Ms. Indiana contest, wherein she placed second to Julie McNew

Jun 13, 1992 The WBF's second and final contest. The World Bodybuilding Federation, an offsprout of the World Wrestling Federation presented only two contests in its two year existence. In Chicago [in 1990], where and when Lee Haney won his 7th Mr. Olympia, tying Arnold's record, as we were leaving the venue, there appeared beautiful young women in black evening dresses handing out literature announcing the formation of the WBF.

Before long an unlucky baker's dozen builders had been lured away from Weider into the ring with McMahon. But the WBF would hold only two bodybuilding shows, each a world championship, and each won by Gary Strydom. Then even though their connected magazine announced that the WBF was too tough to die, it was at least fainting, and in fact, for all purposes with meaning, died the night Strydom won his second championship, which was exactly ten years ago today.

For the record, here is how the top 5 finished in Long Beach, CA: 1. Gary Strydom 2. Jim Quinn 3. Aaron Baker 4. Berry DeMey 5. David Dearth

Jun 14, 1944 Steve Reeves graduated from Castlemont High School in Oakland, CA. He was age 18.

Jun 14, 1951 Jim & Ethel Park's son, Greg, born

Jun 14, 1964 Val Vasilieff won Mr. America in Chicago

Jun 14, 1970 Chris Dickerson wins Mr. America. Chris became the first black man to win this title. It was his 26th bodybuilding contest in a career that began on Aug 7, 1965 (the month before the inaugural Mr. Olympia) when Chris placed third. His victories before winning the Mr. America were: 1966: Novice Mr. Trenton, Mr. Muscles, Mr. Metropolitan, Mr. Atlantic Coast, Mr. Region 9, Mr. Suburban and nine others.

Chris competed in the NABBA Universe starting in 1970, also in the WBBG in 1973. His IFBB career began on his 40th birthday, Aug 29, 1979 when he placed second at the Diamond Cup. He has 12 IFBB wins, with the 1982 Mr. Olympia being his highest victory.

Jun 14, 1986 Lee Labrada won the Night of Champions

Jun 15, 1963 Don Peters wed Dee Limon

Jun 15, 1969 Boyer Coe wins Mr. America in Chicago

Jun 15, 1991 WBF's first contest.
Top five: 1. Gary Strydom 2. Mike Christian 3. Berry DeMey 4. Jim Quinn 5. Eddie Robinson

Jun 16, 1932 DPW recorded the measurements of Walter Podolak

Jun 16, 1952 Inaugural winner of the AAU Mr. America contest in 1939, Roland Essmaker ended his vacation relief stint at radio station KPMO in Oakland, which he had been worked since May 15th.

Jun 16, 1962 Joe Southard crucifix 62.75 lbs in each hand

Jun 17, 1893 Eugen Sandow's debut American performance at the Casino Theater.

Jun 17, 1896 Ignatius Neubauer was born in Albany, New York. Inspired in part by the writings of Alan Calvert coupled with a desire to be strong, his training by the time he was examined for his Navy physical for World War One was immediately noticed and he was unofficially thought to be the best built man in the U.S. Navy.

Later Dr. Sargent at Harvard agreed that Ignatius was 'one of the finest developed men he had ever seen' and Sargent had seen many. A bent press of 217 and a backlift of 2900 were among lifts credited to him. Sig Klein wrote about Ignatius "Strange as it may seem he also inspired me to take up weight training while I was still in my teens, and he, as he told me, was inspired by my enthusiasm to continue training whenever he trained with me." [S&H Apr 1958 p 15]

In Muscular Development Mar 1967 p 23 there is a photo of his advertisement, to which customers could respond by writing to 219 Saranac Lake, New York.

Jun 17, 1910 John Carroll Grimek born; died Nov 20, 1998. No man melded the image of muscle into the mind of the iron community more than John from the late 1920s until the time of his passing. Certainly his development was later surpassed, but his fans would argue that his was a natural, not drug-enhanced musculature, and was therefore superior.

He may have been one of the strongest men in the sport. Jan Dellinger who worked with John at York Barbell for many years, and who would chat most mornings with John at the office before the day's duties began, had wonderful stories about John. Jan has seen Grimek take a pair of 100 pound dumbbells and press them overhead for ten reps. This was NOT a maximum effort, it was an exercise weight, and he did not stop at ten reps due to failure, but because he wanted to do a set of only ten. John was in his 60s at the time!

Jun 17, 1932 Peter Lupus born in Indianapolis. It was Peter who presented to Don Peters the trophy for winning Mr. Physique USA, and who circa 1976 opened The Peter Lupus Leisure Health World in Panama City, Florida., and who in 1980 wrote Peter Lupus' Celebrity Body Book. Lupus was in the cast of Mission Impossible Health & strength in the Jun 21, 1956 issue presented a photo of Lupus at Bob Higgins' Indianapolis gym- (that location is now office space).

Jun 17, 1950 Rudolf Mang born

Jun 18, 1951 John Davis cleaned and pressed a pair of 142 lb dumbbells

Jun 19, 1946 Roman Mielec born

Jun 19, 1948 Bill Melby wins Mr. Pacific Coast. Your Physique covered the story in its Nov 1948 issue, and Ben Weider wrote another story in that mag in May 1950 'Bill Melby- future Mr. America.

Jun 19, 1955 Leroy Colbert motorcycle accident; supposedly his foot was nearly severed and after this few photos are shown which reveal his calves.

Jun 19, 1966 Bob Gajda won Mr. America in York, Pennsylvania as Sergio Oliva took the most muscular crown.

Jun 20, 1960 Cameo Kneuer born (Cory Everson's sister). Cover woman for Muscle & Fitness May 1987, and Dec 1989.

Jun 20, 1976 Kal Szkalak won Mr. America in Philadelphia

Jun 20, 1980 Mike & Leigh Dayton's son, Michael Bailey Dayton born

Jun 20, 1992 Leo Murdock died; born Jan 17, 1923. I have some letters from Leo, and hundreds of pages from Charles Smith- these letters differ on certain situations where the two men were involved in the same situation. I plan to present some of Smith's letters as Iron History Extras in the coming months.

Leo was involved with The Bodybuilder magazine, writing a gossip/news column from 1979 thru 1985. His obituary was in Iron Game History Jul 1992.

INCH 101: part 12

On Jun 11, 1910 Inch, though he had suffered an injury three weeks before, met and defeated five challengers at the German Gym in London for the title British Heavyweight Championship Man . The five were Fred Hall, Wilfred Harwood, Teviotdale, James Evans, and Tom Cressey.

When Health & Strength reported on the event in the following week's issue, in an article entitled "Monster Weight-Lifting Tournament' there was hope in the tone of the message: "The science of weight-lifting in this country has for many years been in a state of chaos. Notwithstanding the fact that a vast deal of interest is taken in this particular means for the development of physical strength, there has been a singular lack of organization. The Amateur Gymnastic Association has not for ten years held any competitions, and therefore all the amateur championships have become almost as much matters of ancient history as W.G. George's mile record or Captain Webb's Channel swim.

"As for the professional championships, these were all (with the exception of the middle- weight-lifting championship of the world, won by Thos. Inch in 1907, and which he has now surrendered) apparently non-existent. The foreigners have all this time been allowed to have things their own way, while Britain's weightlifters dragged on their desultory way."

But the contest on Jun 11, 1910 flickered hope for a new direction "An association to govern this most important branch of physical culture is imperative, and it is the intention of the Editor of 'HEALTH and STRENGTH' to take the initial steps toward its formation."

Inch had hurled an open challenge claiming that he was the champion weightlifter of Great Britain. Replies poured in from men, who because the Gymnastic association cared little for this off-shoot sport they supposedly 'governed', had negligible opportunities previously to strut their strength. Now they heard Inch's call to overhead-arms! Arthur Saxon sent money to support the event as did his two brothers.

The men participating were noteworthy: Harwood was champion of Yorkshire and the north of England; Teviotdale was champ of Scotland.

Four lifts were agreed upon:
One hand clean all the way
Two hands clean all the way
One hand snatch
One hand anyhow

As a result of a drawing, some men participated in the afternoon session, some in the evening. The former were Evan, Hall, and Harwood; the latter: Teviotdale, Inch, and Cressey. But Hall was unable because him employer could not spare him, to compete in the afternoon, so it was agreed that he alone would compete/lift at 7pm, an hour before the other three competitors began at 8pm.

This was a noted event attended by Prof. Szalay, Ferdinand Gruhn, Ernest Gruhn (author of The Textbook on Wrestling) and other notables.

The totals for the lifts were:

Inch 826 lbs 8 ozs; Hall 780 lbs 12 ozs; Harwood 779 lbs 8 ozs; Teviot. 739 lbs 14 ozs; Evans 599 lbs 14 ozs; and Cressey who completed only two lifts, 358 lbs 6 ozs.

Inch won the one hand clean with 213/14; and the one hand anyhow at 230/8 Hall won the two hands clean with 252/2 Teviotdale won the one hand snatch at 139/12

Inch later wrote "At last the proud title I have coveted since the age of 12 is mine!" He then explained that he had won because of superior science and superior strength. And although he had injured himself performing a practice snatch in training, he was able to win the title.

Then using a technique that Bill Gates could use these days, Inch opened the door for others to have a chance to take his title from him, but he set the stakes so high, that only a very rich person could gather so much money and chance losing it: "Well, no more excuses. I won the cup, and will defend my title, same rules and lifts, for not less than L100 a-side against any man of British birth". One Hundred Pounds British was a huge sum in those days!

Inch humbly then concludes: "In conclusion, I can only hope that every competitor,and every reader of 'H. & S.' believes the best man won. "I know I do!"

From the collection of Larry Aumann, here is a letter from Willoughby to Webster regarding the measurements of the Inch dumbell:

Feb 9, 1957

Dear Mr. Webster,

I hope the enclosed photos of Sandow reach you in time to do some good! I have lately been putting in close to 60 hours a week at my daily job, which has left me little for anything else.

My article on Donald Dinnie appears in the current (March, 1957) issue of IRON MAN. I hope it meets with your approval.

Please let me have the information (weight, dimensions, etc) of the Inch 'Challenge Dumbbell, as soon as you have obtained it. It has just occurred to me that if the handle of this dumbbell is only 4" in length, the reason that Arthur Saxon could not lift the bell was because he couldn't get his hand (which was about 4-3/4" wide) down between the spheres far enough to get ahold (sic) of the bar! In any event, I refuse to believe that his grip was inferior to Inch's.

If you have any photos of British old-timers (Elliott, Pevier, Aston, et al), I would be pleased to have copies in exchange for the enclosed prints of Sandow�provided, of course, that you have duplicate copies to spare.

With kind regards,


Roark Reference List #9
Articles by Leo Gaudreau in Your Physique magazine:
Jun/Jul 1944 p 20 Hackenschmidt vs Gotch
Aug/Sep 1944 p 19 Hackenschmidt vs Gotch
Feb/Mar 1945 he reviews Develop a Mighty Chest by Weaver & Willoughby
Aug/Sep 1945 p 34 Cause and remedy of abnormal spinal curvature
Dec/Jan 1946 p 11 Build muscles with dumbbells
Aug 1946 p 21 Little lessons in anatomy #1
Aug 1946 p 24 Invaluable advice to weightlifters
Aug 1946 p 47 The Montagnas
Sep 1946 p 42 Gripping strength
Oct 1946 p 16 Little lessons in strength #2 triceps
Nov 1946 p 24 Little lessons in strength #3 delts
Nov 1946 p 40 Strongmen Men of the past #2: William A. Pullum
Jan 1947 p 35 Little lessons in anatomy #4 traps
Mar 1947 p 17 Littles lessons in anatomy #5 biceps
Apr 1947 p 12 Little lessons in anatomy #6 calf
Apr 1947 p 32 Arthur Saxon & The Saxon Trio part 1
May 1947 p 27 Little lessons in anatomy #7 neck
May 1947 p 36 The Story of Saxon part 2
Jun 1947 p 19 Little lessons in anatomy #8 thigh
Jun 1947 p 30 The Story of Saxon part 3
Jul 1947 p 33 The Story of Saxon part 4, conclusion
Jul 1947 p 48 Little lessons in anatomy #9 thigh
Aug 1947 p 26 Louis Cyr part 1
Sep 1947 p 28 Louis Cyr part 2
Sep 1947 p 30 Sports in the Soviet Union
Sep 1947 p 43 Little lessons in anatomy #10 pecs
To be continued in Jun 21st Iron History. See you then!

Replies: Comments(5)

Thanks for sharing the pages of Mighty Men of Old. I have seen two versions of that publication, and though it has some great photos, the text is not always reliable (as in the mercury in the bar handle story. The bar was found to contain sand).
Nonetheless it has some good info on the Saxons, and thank you for sharing.
And, you have a great and useful website and are performing a wonderful service!

Posted by Joe Roark @ 06/17/2002 06:32 AM CST

I haven't matched up all the relevent information but my pages as follows :

have some more details of the Saxon trio (including Arthur's death) and may help fill some gaps in your excellent piece about the Saxons.

Regards - roger

Posted by Roger Fillary @ 06/17/2002 12:54 AM CST

Tom Ryan,
The 'I's have it. I have made the correction- it WAS in ref to Bob Hise II after all. I need a cup of coffee!!

Posted by Joe Roark @ 06/08/2002 04:44 AM CST

Tom! Good to hear from you. Thought about you the other day when I was reading some Anderson material.
So you don't think a man can die before he's born? I'll have to yield on this one! Of course Murdock was born in 1923 and died in 1992- personally, I have always wanted to reverse the aging process...Seriously, thank you for catching that. Now I've got more egg on my face than a short-order cook who falls asleep at the grill.

Regarding Hise, I have Bob Hise II being born May 25, 1919- I was referring in the text to Bob Hise III but left off an 'I'. So again, thank you.

I will edit the text to reflect these corrections.

Perhaps a word of explanation: I work from two computers, reading one database, selecting info to be typed into the adjacent computer, and looking back and forth. Sometimes I'm lucky to know which keyboard I'm supposed to be using, and that's how some of these errors happen because in this case at least the info was in my computer but I fouled it up when retyping it.

Tom I need to ask you a question. Will you please write to with your email address or phone number? He will forward it to me. I would appreciate it.

Posted by Joe Roark @ 06/08/2002 04:36 AM CST

I always look forward to these updates. A few minor errors need correction, though, as Leo Murdock's birth and death dates are reversed and Bob Hise II was not born in 1949.
Had to have been either 1915 or 1916 since he was 80 when he died in 1996.

Posted by Tom Ryan @ 06/07/2002 11:33 PM CST