Iron History

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09/19/2002 Entry: "Iron History Sep 20, 2002"

HOPELESS: We will confine Red Pencil History to the articles in mags I encounter by subscription or on the newsstands. Attempting to correct the errors on the internet would keep me busier than, as my grandmother used to say, 'a one-armed wall-paper hanger'. It sometimes seems hopeless- how so much misinformation can be billion-folded and hurled into cyberspace, where newbies with moist rear ears understandably believe what is pitched by 'authorities'.

MAIL excerpt: from Bob Hornick: Enclosed you will find some photo copies of those kettlebells that Andy Jackson made for me. They were his last official customer order while Jackson Barbell still belonged to him. I have this from him in letters he wrote before and after the order and he also mentioned it in phone and in personal conversations.

Dimensions: handle 6.5" wide, 4.0 inches circumference at the grip, attached to the globe by a 1 and 1/16 machined bar with a cap at the bottom. The globe, hollow, of course is 7.5 inches diameter and 24.0 inches circumference. Empty this globe weighs in at a bit over 25 lbs. I think I mentioned the whole unit is 35 lbs, make that actually a bit over 30 lbs for each kettlebell based on what I always considered 3 lbs for each 12 inches of 1 and 1/16 diameter steel, the handle and the bolts accounting for the rest.

Sep 20, 1895 Bergman Rottenfusser one finger lift 553.25 lbs, twenty inches off the floor for two reps. Really?

Sep 20, 1928 Sig Klein on the cover of The Athletik Zeitung

Sep 20 or 21, 1952 Dietrich Wortmann died; born Jan 11, 1884

Sep 21, 1900 K. Schuster jerked 110.25 lbs for 55 reps

Sep 21, 1912 Swoboda and Goerner photographed together in Leipzig. Swoboda would have been age 30, Goerner age 21.

Sep 21, 1913 Goerner right hand clean and almost jerk of 286.5 lbs. Although Hermann jerked the weight, it was not fixed overhead. He was age 22.

Sep 21, 1919 Goerner left hand swing 2 kettleweights 193 lbs total. Age 28

Sep 21, 1948 Ian Lawrence born. Competed several times in the NABBA Universe from 1973 to 1988, winning the overall amateur in 1975, and placing second in the pro division in 1983.

Sep 21, 1961 Lisa Lorio born. Women's Physique World editor Steve Wennerstom in the Fall 1987 issue introduced Lisa as 'Muscular Beauty From the Bayou State'. Lisa remained with the type of physique that the general public could accept in a muscular woman, which factor, coupled with her beauty, provided her with several appearances in the mags in the early 1990s.

Sep 21, 1963 Tom Sansone won the amateur NABBA Universe and Joe Abbenda won the pro NABBA Universe

Sep 21, 1968 Arnold Schwarzenegger won the amateur NABBA Universe, and Dennis Tinerino won the pro NABBA Universe

Sep 21, 1968 Frank Zane won the IFBB Mr. America in NYC, and Chuck Sipes won the Mr. World.

Sep 21, 1989 John McCallum died; born Aug 20, 1926

Sep 22, 1912 Swoboda two hands press (did not clean it) of 150.7 kgs 3 reps

Sep 22, 1917 Joe Greenstein's daughter Minnie born

Sep 22, 1940 The Strength & Health picnic. This would have been almost four months after the 1940 Mr. America won by Grimek.

Sep 22, 1947 Steve Reeves arrived in NYC to see Wallace Downey

Sep 22, 1964 Eddie Robinson born in Akron, Ohio.

Sep 22, 2000 Logan Edward Rust born- son of fitness model Mary Yockey.

Sep 23, 1920 Mickey Rooney/ later married Beverly Jocher?

Sep 23, 1945 Mike Dubel won Mr. Michigan

Sep 23, 1953 John Franklin McWilliams III born

Sep 23, 1967 Stanislaus Zbyszko died at age 88; born Apr 1, 1880

Sep 23, 1967 Sergio Oliva won the third Mr. Olympia (his first of three wins), and Don Howorth won the Mr. America and Rick Wayne won the Mr. World- all in New York City, while over in England on this date Arnold won the amateur and Bill Pearl the pro NABBA Universe.

Sep 23, 1969 Angelique Beltier, model, born.

Sep 23, 1975 Jaime Bergman born in Salt Lake City, and became Playboy's 45th anniversary Playmate. More to the point here is that she co-stars with bodybuilder Roland Kickinger in the TV show Son of the Beach.

Sep 24, 1907 LeBreton two hands snatch 253.5 lbs

Sep 24, 1911 Ted Keppler born in Philadelphia.. Longtime fitness buff who introduced himself to the readers of S&H in Feb 1940 on page 48 when he was age 28 and recounted how lifting helped him overcome childhood ills. His letter explains that he weighed 148 and could press 165, snatch 155, and C&J 230. He had begun a barbell club in Beverly, New Jersey in 1938. Ted in 1956 wrote to Muscle Builder magazine, included a photo in the Jan issue on page 9.

Sep 24, 1935 Bob Harley showed up at Sig Klein's to get some training instruction. Bob was age 23, had been born in Springfield, MA, and later managed to lift the Cyr dumbell which was described when he lifted it as weighing, not the usual 202 lbs empty, but 203 lbs. That was Dec 19, 1936. Couple of months later on Feb 6, 1937, he lifted the 209 lb Rolandow dumbell. He stood 5'11" and weighed about 180 lbs. In Muscular Development May 1971 he is described as a pupil of Sig Klein- the fact that started this paragraph.

Sep 24, 1952 Dietrich Wortmann was buried.

Sep 24, 1957 Harry Barton Paschall died; born Nov 27, 1897. HBP as he was called, began writing for S&H in Sep 1934 when he profiled Dick Falcon, who would later become a physique photographer. As an aside, I was told that years ago, Falcon using a pair of scissors, cut up all his photographic negatives.

Back to HPB. He wrote for S&H every year except 1935, 1942, 1943, 1944. In 1945 he wrote again, to start his column BEHIND the SCENES which would run in 135 installments ending with the Jan 1958 issue.

His cartoon muscleman, BOSCO ran Jan 1954 thru Dec 1957 in 45 installments (HBP had died three months before the final strip ran).

Paschall also wrote for Ironman, Lifting News, The Chicago Bodybuilder, Vim, and in British Amateur Weightlifter and Bodybuilder he offered some BOSCO material in 1953-1954. Also wrote some for H&S in the early 1950s, I think, because it was announced that he was to do so, but I am missing some issues of H&S, so I cannot be sure.

His BOSCO was an innocent, no-nonsense character, hugely powerful, who fought several lifting battles, and is the type of cartoon strip that is missing in today's magazines, though it does appear that the genre may be returning. After HBP died, there was some minimal effort to keep the strip going, so Duke Schneider, and Tony Chikes, and Hector, each offered sample work, but Hoffman did not give the go-ahead.

Sep 24, 1971 April Hunter born in Philadelphia or 1973? Last I saw of her was on TV where she was being trained as a pro wrestler.

Sep 24, 1977 Bertil Fox won the NABBA Universe as did Tony Emmott

Sep 25, 1865 Dudley Allen Sargent took his exams to attend West Point, placed second, but did not attend.

Sep 25, 1896 Hans Beck barrel lifting

Sep 25, 1920 Goerner one arm to shoulder from a tilt of 385.75 lbs, and lifted the front end of a 3,042 lbs car and walked in a semi-circle. Does this claim strike anyone else as questionable?

Sep 25, 1962 Vickie Gates born

Sep 25, 1965 Reg Park and Elmo Santiago won NABBA Universe

Sep 25, 1968 Frank Zane defeated Arnold at the IFBB Mr. Universe in Miami Beach. I was in the audience at this show, and afterwards, the audience was invited to come up on stage and chat with the bodybuilders. So I did. This was two years before I began a systematic study of the iron game. Just having some fun.

Stood a few feet from Sergio Oliva, whose spaceship had apparently just landed from Planet Muscle-incredible shape. Tapped Chuck Sipes on the shoulder as he and Joe Weider, and Arnold Schwarzennger were getting ready to leave. Asked Chuck if Don Horworth had made the trip; was told no.

My impressions of the contest when Zane beat Arnold: Arnold was huge, but unimpressive. Zane had spent the day at the car wash getting his body detailed, but it was obvious that Arnold would soon own the sport if he chose to refine himself. He did so choose.

Don Peters later told me that he was among the group who drove to the airport to pick up Arnold the previous day when he had first set foot on out soil. I was unable to get more details from Don before he passed away.

Peters is gone, Sipes is gone, Howorth spent some time in prison, but is now out, Oliva is still a Chicago cop, and I have no clue whatever happened to ArnoldJ

Sep 26, 1871 Ivan Padoubbny born; died Aug 9, 1949

Sep 26, 1910 Emile Bruyere died; born Sep 14, 1860

Sep 26, 1916 Jack LaLanne born. Longtime fitness pioneer who remains in incredible shape at age 86. It was he, whose prototype 'Smith' machine Rudy Smith saw, then ordered a more luxurious model built which was named after him. The November issue of Flex will, I believe carry a photo which Rudy provided of him with his original Smith machine. To my knowledge this is the first time the photo has been published in a bodybuilding mag. Photo will appear in the Factoids column, and the issue should be available very soon.

Sep 26, 1949 John Grimek's second son, Stephen Eugene Grimek, born

Sep 26, 1957 Linda Hamilton born; appeared in The Terminator, and in Terminator II Judgment Day. Will not be in Terminator 3.

Sep 26, 1964 NABBA Universe winners Earl Maynard and John Hewlett

Sep 26, 1972 Joseph Curtis Hise died on this Tuesday; born Aug 10, 1905. A friend mentioned the other day that he would like to pay homage at the gravesite which is in Homer, Illinois in the G.A.R. Cemetery.

Sep 26, 1977 Slim Farman visited Joe Greenstein in the hospital. Joe had cancer.

Sep 26, 1993 Vince Taylor wed Randi Bradley in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Sep 26, 1998 Theresa Hessler, model, relocates from Baltimore to Los Angeles.

INCH 101: Part 18 H&S Sep 20, 1913 Some Reasons Why- in Plain Language- Inch

On Sep 26, 1871 Ivan Padoubny was born. Inch claimed to have left the Inch 172 lb bell at Hengler's Circus while Padoubny was wrestling there, which, as near as I can determine may have been 1908 because there was a wrestling tournament going on there then and Padoubny faced Apollon on Feb 10, 12, and 18th. Ivan defeated Apollon in a controversial match, and it is my studied view that Inch heard of this defeat and Apollon's angry withdrawal from the tournament, and brought the bell by Hengler's when Apollon was absent. This most certainly fits if Inch brought the bell by between Feb 12 and 18th (Apollon returning on the 18th) Padoubny was 36, Apollon age 46.

Inch certainly knew better than to give Apollon a chance, especially a challenge, in regard to the 172. Apollon had a famous block weight with a ring the total which weighed 176 lbs which he often used, so he would have scoffed at the 172. Inch avoided this. This scenario works if one of the three time tables presented is accepted. The bell was left at Hengler's for one day, one week, or two weeks. One day is likely because one week would have encompassed Apollon's return, and even though at age 46 he might not outwrestle Ivan, no one would assert Ivan's lifting was anywhere in the neighborhood of Apollon's.

When did Inch or other writers first refer to this Hengler's situation above? Miller mentioned it in Apr 1936 in Strength and Health, and three years later in that mag, Inch himself wrote of it. Then Inch again wrote of it in Health & strength on Dec 20, 1956.

When did Padoubny die: 1949. I have never found a response from Ivan about the Hengler's/Inch bell claim. Has anyone reading this seen any text from Ivan about the incident?

Roark Reference # 21:

Continuing the letter of Aug 31, 1985 from Charles A. Smith to Joe Roark:

[Roark note: I have edited some of the text, but no meaning has been thus altered. I have also decided to not edit out some of Charles language and views, which were reflective of his style and belief.

[Also, some names have been replaced by XXX but XXX stands for ANY replaced name and does not represent the same person always.]

That business of whoever it was asking you if you thought your efforts were ESOTERIC amused me more than somewhat. The way these guys heave words around without knowing what the real meaning of the word is. Just trying to be trendy I guess. How esoteric weightlifting can be is cause for several thousand grins. Weightlifting and anything to do with it is about as esoteric as a falling pile driver.

Please understand that I am not making excuses for dead old Joe. I know what he is, a cold, calculating icy blooded BUSINESS man, or to use its pejorative term, an entrepreneur- have I got that right- but there were dark sides to the York opposition to Joe- one of course was that Joe was becoming a BUSINESS threat, and the other -and so far as York was concerned, the worst- was that Joe was of the Jewish Faith. And they were- some of them at York, very anti negro and anti semites. In fact, I am told that XXX once called XXX - forgive me- a 'Jungle Bunny'- although in all fairness I can't say if this has any truth to it. It is just one of those things that is sometimes said about the famous.

My stance is that a man can be piebald, pinto, or polka dotted for all I care. If he treats me honestly and fairly, that's the way I'll treat him. If he does otherwise then that's the way I judge him. I never could blame a man for something over which he had no more control than I did- the accident of birth.

ANYONE you write to who knows me- Grimek or who ever, then say that I remember them, and I think kindly of them- why do else when I am coming to the end of the road- and would welcome hearing from them.

As for you taking me out to dinner, forget it. So if you don't mind, I'll lay in a plentiful supply of the 'Oh be joyful'- some unutterable ruffians refer to it as 'beer' and we'll send out for a PIZZA, if you will be able to stand the Texas version of this Italian by way of China delicacy.

I am also confined to a wheelchair, am TOTALLY unable to walk without the aid of a walker, and then only a very short distance, that I have my right leg amputated and a lot of my left hip missing.

I very much doubt if you will get a reply from Marvin [Eder]. I wrote him thrice and no reply Marvin and I were very friendly. I see no reason why he should blame me for the way good old Joe is ALLEGDED to have treated him. I have always liked Marvin. He was a good kid and easy to get along with, good-natured, and rarely said an adverse word about anyone. He isn't without his share of intelligence as his present position in the business world would indicate. By trade he is a plumber and has his own corporation with at least a dozen men working for him. I can't say either, that Weider did him dirt. What Marvin did in his relations with Joe was done of his own volition and with wide opened eyes. Joe did 'USE' him. That I know.

The people who used Marvin badly were the XXX crowd. They did all they could to get Marvin confirmed as a professional and DID. Then when they saw his potential as an Olympic lifter, tried to get him back into their fold What is so damned unfair about this is that what they were accusing Marvin of, they had been doing themselves all along- since the AAU rules at that time expressly forbid any amateur lifter to sell barbells or otherwise work for an organization that did.

And all this donkey dust about what XXX did for lifting. Well, to be fair, there is no denying that he did- HE DID- but it wasn't entirely altruistic What he put into lifting he got back TEN FOLD.

[Hepburn] The same goes for Hepburn. I was as close to him as paint is on a wall. But once I left good old Joe I never heard from him again. I did SO MUCH for him. In 1978, shortly after I retired, I wrote to him, having first contacted Peary Rader and asking for Doug's address. Peary's reply was a strange, but not unexpected one. He said that I could find it in ANY edition of Iron Man mag.

Some time- a good while- after, I got a strange reply from Doug. It consisted of a five inch square box enclosed in which was a 33 rpm record of Doug singing some songs- he had a very good voice- a poster sized poem about a dog and a letter of two lines which said that he hadn't forgotten me, that he now weighed 180, was a vegetarian, that we now traveled along different paths and that was that. I had to write to him twice before I got this reply, and in my second letter made it clear that all I wanted was to renew our friendship and correspond. I said silently to myself-and I make no apologies for the word I am about to use- 'Fuck him.' After all I had done for him and this was what I meant to him.

[Charles now writes of someone whom he helped get into wrestling]:

He wrote to me and asked me if I could get him into pro wrestling. I could and I did. I contacted Joe Malcewicz, the San Francisco promoter, who brought XXX there, showed him the pro wrestling ropes and put him on. XXX was finally heaved out by Joe because he didn't want to work, would fail to show up for bouts, etc etc. Then he went to Toronto and worked for the promoter there- Frank Tunney. At one time XXX was pulling in at least 800 to 900 a week REGULARLY. The first thing he did was blow it on a Cadillac with gold tinted wheels. Then the same thing that happened in San Francisco happened in Toronto so THEY kissed him off.

Then he got involved in very heavy drinking and drugs, and went further down the pan and was finally living the life of a bum in a hovel- that's the only word to describe it. So strong. So what. That best sums up XXX and his career which could have been so bright, and for a brief period was, and so influencing. Alas. Alas.

[regarding my newsletter MuscleSearch] So it is important that ALL have a knowledge of the history of our sport. To give you a good example, XXX who is putting out a fine little power mag XXX altered some of my material, to read CONTINENTAL CLEAN AND JERK. If he knew his lifting history he would have known there isn't such a lift and never was. It was ALWAYS CONTINENTAL AND JERK. But he is repeating the mistakes uttered by others- much in the same way that those who wrote biographies of Oscar Wilde repeated a lot of hogwash that had been written previously about him. And now the hogwash is accepted as FACT.

Warm personal regards to you and your, Chas.

Sep 10, 1985 letter to Joe Roark from Charles A. Smith: I don't know where XXX got his information about my being 'fired' by Weider, but it is sheer bullshit and I suspect he got it from one of the 'Old Timers' who attend those dinners. I think I have told you the story- or part of it- but when I told Joe to shove it, there were only four of us in the room- myself, Joe, Bart, and a layout man now dead, Norman Strain. Joe would never have fired me. He knew he had too valuable a property. He was getting vintage champagne for Pepsi Cola prices.

XXX was a gentleman and as I am using the word, in the BRITISH sense- look after your men and your horses before you look after yourself and all that old British Colonial hanky panky. What ruined XXX was his wife double crossing him, having an affair with a mounted cop and cleaning XXX out of three quarters of a million in COLD CASH. He never recovered from it. This from his own mouth to me. But he was also a RUTHLESS business man. On one occasion he found out that an employee was stealing cash that came in via the mail for his courses. At the time he had close to eighty men and women working for him JUST OPENING MAIL. He fired the whole bunch. Yes, you can say XXX was a close friend of mine and HATED XXX guts.

I have drunk the beer of every country you could mention. The absolute worst was a beer I drank in Ceylon. I took one sip and remarked, 'This horse is fit for work'. The best by far, and I do mean the best is AUSTRALIAN BEER. No other beer in the world touches it for flavor. Warmest regards to you and yours, Chas.


This column completes the � point in the basic chronology, which will be completed at year's end. I am open for suggestions on how to continue the column into 2003. At the moment, more lengthy pieces on the accomplishments of individuals are appealing, and these would be posted when ready, not on a set schedule.

Any helpful suggestions are welcome.

Replies: Comments(8)

Thomas M.
Regarding the general athleticism of oldtimers, I have not pursued that area, so there is very little I can offer except in the obvious croos-over cases such as Dinnie.

The authenticity of what? Do you mean of the feats claimed by some of the oldtimers or of the authors who wrote in the field? Sometimes, as in the case of Jowett,there is a double dose of dilemma. His writing is liking making maple syrup- gallons of material must be boiled away to get at very little

The profiles would be from the 1800s to approx World War One.

I have been thinking of this: Taking a particular feat, offering the various versions of it, sources where more reading can be pursued, and a conclusion based on that lifter's abilities in related feats.In some cases these will be tied to the calendar relevant to when they are posted.

In 2003 will be on
a sporadic schedule- which should not be interpreted as a lessening of content or a less frequent offering of that content, just that I will offer something when it is ready. To explain the point:
After I have covered, say, Apollon's railcar wheels, I want the reader to feel as though there is no other source to check regarding the subject. Of course there are sources with which I am not conversant, but it will be as complete as I can make it at the time of writing it.

I want to say again that TheEditor
deserves much credit for making this effort available. I do all the studying, which I have done for decades, but he is the one that makes it possible for that study to be delivered to you. When he loses interest, I will don my derby and grab my cane and stagger into the sunset.

Posted by Joe Roark @ 09/26/2002 07:25 AM CST

Personally I would put Goerners feats in the class of Louis Cyr rather than that of Eugen Sandow, that is exaggerated rather than fabricated

Posted by
Thomas M @ 09/25/2002 09:30 AM CST

Also i would like information on the all round atleticism of men such as the Saxons, Donald Dinnie, George Hackenschmidt and others.

Posted by Thomas M @ 09/25/2002 09:19 AM CST

I would suggest that you organize a division of varying degrees of authenticity (from 1 to 5 for instance). Also profile's on athletes is also a fine idea, especially on 'real' oldtimers, say 1880 - 1914

Posted by Thomas M @ 09/24/2002 06:31 PM CST

Same thing happened to me once. I skipped the workout:)
Really, you have nailed what I was in doubt about. A sideways walk where the body is not aligned as intended under heavy load is a very dangerous movement for the ankles, knees and hips it would seem to me. The lower back would be in danger also.
Anyway, lots of missing details in Goerner's feat, but thanks for sharing the story.

Posted by Joe Roark @ 09/22/2002 03:16 PM CST

Joe and Dale,

I question Goerner walking in a semi-circle with the car. When I was 18 or 19, someone left a Karmen Ghia in my way, preventing me from engaging in my workout (outdoors). So I had to move the car, as the owner had left temporarily. Lifting the front end of such a small car was no great feat of strength, but I couldn't walk sideways with it. Instead, I had to "throw" it, pick it up and repeat until I had finally rotated it 90 degrees. I deadlifted 500 about that time so I was far below Goerner, but I would question his ability to walk sideways with a much heavier car.

Posted by Tom Ryan @ 09/22/2002 12:40 PM CST

I implied it, you inferred it. But the unclear comment was aimed at the car walk.
Frankly I believe that he did it, but there are significant details missing. What brand of car (which would help some weight details, length, etc. which would help determine how much he was actually 'deadlifting').
What was the length of the semi-circle? 5 feet 15 feet?
I have no doubt about his ability to tilt onto one shoulder a bell of the weight mentioned.
Besides, Dale, sometimes I have to see if you are still there:)

Posted by Joe Roark @ 09/21/2002 05:43 AM CST

You infer that either Goerner's tilt to shoulder of a 385 lb barbell or the lift of the front end of a 3042 lb car and walk with it sound funny. Steinborn tilted over 550 to his back. Anthony Clarke walked a 2300 lb Ford Escort for at least 100', Paul Anderson lifted a 49 Ford, and many others have lifted one end of a car. Depending on wt. distribution of the car, he probably lifted something like 1000 lb. in a partial dead lift; others have done as much or more. What's the problem?

Posted by Dale Harder @ 09/20/2002 09:03 PM CST