Joe Roark's

The HUGE library of Iron History compiled by Joe Roark.


Welcome to Iron History with Joe Roark!  

Joe Roark has been studying the iron game since 1957, and by 1970 began a systematic gathering of information on index cards. By the time his first computer was acquired, there were several hundred thousand references to be typed into it.

For a few years he published his own newsletter called MuscleSearch: The Roark Report. By 1992 he was appointed as the IFBB Men's Bodybuilding Historian, and began writing about history for FLEX in his column Factoids. For ten years he contributed to Iron Game History from the U of Texas at Austin. Recently he also began writing All Our Yesterdays for FLEX.

His passion has always been the period between 1880 and 1920, with particular emphasis on the oldtime strongmen of that era. Joe will be offering bits of history for Cyberpump once per week, and the text will be relevant to the dates of the calendar for those events of yesteryear relevant to the coming week.

In this column, readers will also be able to ask Joe questions or comment on his posts.  Note: The comments are solely for interaction between Joe and the readers only -- not reader to reader.

Mar 29-Apr 4, 2002

Thursday, March 28, 2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These notes will show how the poundage changed:

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

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

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

By 1969 Health & Strength said 900 pounds plus.

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

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

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

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

He also thought Paul's thighs measured 43".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your suggestions for these reference lists are welcomed!

Posted by TheEditor @ 02:36 PM CST

Iron History Mar 22-28, 2002

Thursday, March 21, 2002

LATE NEWS: Thanks to David Webster for the following results at the Arnold Strongman competition Feb 22-23, 2002 in Columbus, Ohio:

1. Mark Henry
2. Svend Karlsen
3. Phil Pfister
4. Mark Philippi
5t Raimonds Bergmanis
5t Andy Bolton
7. Brad Gillingham
8. Brian Schoonveld

Met-RX also gave bonuses to the strongmen that signed autographs in its booth Mark Henry and Phil Pfister each received $1,000 for their attempts at lifting the Inch replica.

Arnold Strongman Events:

#1 either cleaning (bar not touching body on ascent) or continentaling (bar allowed to touch, indeed, rest, on the body during ascent) then jerking the Apollon Wheels replica manufactured by Ivanko Barbell Company. 365 lbs 9 ounces, with a non-revolving 1.93" diameter bar. Only two men used the clean method: Henry & Gillingham, the others used the continental method. David Webster explains that for this competition any lift brought to the shoulder without using the belt as a resting place was deemed a 'clean'. But to remain consistent with history, I have indicated below where, by resting the bar on bodyparts, the lifter performed a continental because it was/is possible to perform a continental without using a belt. Clean means clear (of the body) so any deviation of this becomes a continental by definition, and since only two men cleaned the large wheels, this distinction should be presented in my opinion�

1. Mark Henry 3 cleans 3 jerks
2. Mark Philippi 1 cont. 1 jerk
3. Svend Karlsen 2 cont. 0 jerks
the following placements were determined by using a smaller set of wheels weighing 325 lbs was used, descriptions by David Webster, with my notes in brackets:
4t Phil Pfister 3 cont. 3 jerks
4t Brad Gillingham 3 cont. 3 jerks
5. Brian Schoonveld 1 cont. 3 jerks
6. Raimonds Bergmanis 1 clean? 0 jerk
-. Andy Bolton was unable to shoulder the wheels

Event #2: Deadlift. (I think the deadlift employed the second set of wheels (325 lbs) as the base amount. If so, the wheel diameter was 22" (rather than 18" standard).

1. Andy Bolton 885 for 3 reps
2. Mark Henry 885 for 2 reps
3. Brad Gillingham 845 for 1 rep
4. Mark Philippi 825 for 1 rep
5. Raimonds Bergmanis 815 for 1 rep
6. Svend Karlsen 775 for 1 rep
7. Phil Pfister 715 for 1 rep
8. Brian Schoonveld 665 for 1 rep

Event #3: Hummer Push Over a 40' Course; Tires with only 6.5 lbs of pressure. The Hummer S-1 Weighs approx. 8,000 lbs:

1. Raimonds Bergmanis 17,07 seconds
2. Svend Karlsen 17.62
3. Phil Pfister 18
4. Mark Philippi 18.53
5. Mark Henry 20.59
6. Andy Bolton 23.47
7. Brad Gillingham 25.6
8. Brian Schoonveld 35 feet, 6" in 30 seconds

Events #4: Farmer's Walk- 815 lb timber-frame; 32' ramp rising an inch per foot. The men stood on flat ground to begin and then climbed the ramp. No straps were allowed:

1. Phil Pfister 8.7 seconds
2. Svend Karlsen 9.5
3. Mark Henry 10.19
4. Brian Schoonveld 13.5
5. Andy Bolton 19.2
6. Mark Philippi 20.84
7. Raimonds Bergmanis unable to complete course
8. Brad Gillingham forearm injury (or biceps tendon injury?)

VIEWPOINT: Measurement claims: The difference between a person who is 5' tall and a person who is 6' tall is, of course, 12", but more significantly, the difference is 20%. So if a 5' man claims to be 6' tall, observers will not question his height claim, they will question his sanity, because the notion that his height is being reported accurately is absurd. We have no difficulty in appraising vertical measurements such as this.

But when lateral measurements, or circumferences are reported, we do not observe as accurately.

Shoulder width is an interesting topic. The expression 'wide as a barn door' may be fun to utter and will convey a sense of great breath, but in fact even most very large bodybuilders and powerlifters and strength athletes are not as wide as a HOUSE door, which range in the area of 30 to 36 inches wide.

Although olympic type barbell bars vary a little in distance from collar to collar where the bar may be grasped, generally a figure of 53" will be in the ballpark at least to convey our point here. If a man claims to have shoulders that are 53" wide, then obviously when he is performing a curl with an Olympic barbell, his shoulders will be as wide as the collars on the barbell. Not too long ago Flex magazine presented some photos of TWO bodybuilders standing side by side using the same barbell and performing very heavy curls. These men were very broad shouldered but fit with room to spare between the barbell plates. So we know that adding their shoulder widths does not total 53", nor do they claim that width.

In fact, I measured bench press wonder Anthony Clark's shoulder width at about 23" and he is one of the men whom we would refer to using the barn door analogy. A claim of shoulder width for the late Grizzly Brown has asserted 34". Almost as wide as a yardstick, and in fact I have a photo of a yardstick being held against Grizzly's shoulder area, and 27" is much closer to reality. Another test would be this: It was stated that Grizzly stood 6' tall, so if you have a photo of him standing facing the camera, relaxed, with his arms hanging at his sides, with his feet together, then mark a piece of paper from head to toe, and you have a 6' ratio range. Then place that piece of paper across his shoulders- it should be about twice as wide as his shoulders 72": 34" approximately. Some of these incorrect claims may have to do with the measurer not understanding how the shoulders are to be measured, which is palms of the hands touching sides of the thighs, no tensing. The measurement is not to be taken with arms flared to the sides and then measured from where the deltoid joins the upper arm!

On the website of Victor Richards a shoulder width of 45" is claimed�so if he grasps a barbell collar to collar with his hands adjacent to his shoulders at the top of the curl, and curls it up to his shoulders, then assuming a normal palm width of 4" or so, we can add 4"+4"+45" and get 53", so that no extra space will appear between the collars. But in fact, photos of him using an Olympic barbell reveal that his shoulder width is considerably less than half the collar to collar measurement, which is to say, less than 26.5". Several inches less, and my careful guess would be his shoulder breadth is approx. 22" to 24". Also, on the three barbells I measured recently, the non-knurled finger spacing areas on the bar were 16" either side of the bar's center, which of course means that from finger spacing to finger spacing is 32". I have never seen anyone whose bi- deltoid width even comes close to these marks.

Of course, anyone having a shoulder width of 45" will have a shoulder circumference exceeding 90" by a few inches.

Why are such claims made when anyone not in need of a seeing-eye dog can instantly detect deception? An artist is not needed to draw the conclusion.

We will leave the discussion of circumference measurements for another time.

We now resume regular programming�

NEWS: Please notice the link on Iron History's intro. We have included official descriptions of the 42 British Amateur Weight Lifters' Association Lifts, which may be handy when reading posts such as Mar 23, 1901 below. And a new respect should be given to those who lifted under the BAWLA rules- heels must remain together during a two hands deadlift (so long, sumo style), and arms must remain PARALLEL during a two hands snatch. There are some very interesting details in the old rules.

Mar 22, 1980 Liz Vest won Mrs.(sic) Louisiana. Also this year she placed second in the Ms. New Orleans.

Mar 23, 1901 Charles Russell vs Monte Saldo in London at the Royal Acquarium for the title of Professional Weightlifting Champion of England. The four involved lifts were: Right Hand Clean, Left Hand Clean, Two Dumb-bells Clean and Jerk, and Two Hands Clean and Jerk. Russel totaled 728.25 lbs to Saldo's 508.25- a misleading total considering Saldo bombed on all his Two Hands Clean and Jerk attempts, and please notice the similarity and the difference in the last two listed lifts' names: Both are cleans and jerks, both mention the use of 'two'; in the former two dumbbells, in the latter, two hands. Are not two hands needed for the two dumbbells? But the distinction, though un- mentioned is that a barbell is used in the latter lift. This is the same distinction between the Two Hands Anyhow and the Two Hands Clean and Jerk, with the former requiring a separate implement in each hand, which can include a barbell, ringweight, blockweight, dumbbell, kettlebell etc.

Mar 23, 1935 A contest between Bill Good and Ronald Walker in London. Walker at 190 lbs outweighed Good at 180, and this may explain Walker's narrow win 835 lbs to 810 lbs. In the 2 hand press Good 230, Walker 250. Both men snatched 255. Good jerked 325 to Walker's 330.

Mar 23, 1939 Bob & Juanita [Peoples] wedding day. Bob, the famous deadlifter, no doubt had no trouble carrying Juanita over the threshold. Bob died Jun 19, 1992. Can anyone inform us if Mrs. Peoples is still with us?

Mar 23, 1949 Charles Kent won the Mr. Capitol District contest, on the very same day that Kurt Saxon was writing a letter to Leo Gaudreau explaining how he and his wife were not allowed to enter their home district in Germany: "As I wrote you in my letter, March 23, 1949, I tried to go to my home town, but on the border, from my home sector, they did not let me pass in my home sector and so I had to come back here [to Seeg]. This was a hard blow to my wife and myself and made us a lot of expenses."

Mar 23, 1950 Oscar Matthes died; born Sep 29, 1863.

Mar 23, 1998 John Farbotnik died; born May 20, 1925. Was the 1950 AAU Mr. America. He had earlier won the 1946 Mr. Chicago, and the 1950 Mr. California, and won the Jr. Mr. America two weeks before taking the Sr. Mr. America, then later that year won the World's Best Developed Athlete. He appeared on the Groucho Marx TV Show 'You Bet Your Life' and a photo of Groucho feeling John's biceps appeared in Strength & Health in Apr 1951. For awhile he had owned a couple of gyms in California. I spoke to one of his daughters after he passed away, a most pleasant woman who was proud of her father.

Mar 24, 1910 In January 1910 Max Sick desired to be known hence as Maxick, then on this date in the offices of Health & Strength magazine he signed papers to have a strength contest with Edward Aston., contest to happen on August 4th utilizing six lifts, with Aston winning the contest.

Mar 24, 1916 Roland Joseph Essmaker born. He would become the first AAU Mr. America, in 1939. The contest which Bert Goodrich won before this was a Pro-Am contest, and not 'sanctioned' by the AAU.

Mar 24, 1934 William Smith, the actor and bodybuilder born in Columbia, Missouri.

Mar 24, 1934 Clevio Massimo, age 43, posed in Maryland and 'handled his partner as if she did not weigh more than a wooden wand'. When he posed 'People gasped and sighed and applauded. Words can not express just how terrific Clevio Massimo is. Muscles sttod out everywhere'-according to Bob Hoffman.

Mar 24, 1959 John Terilli born

Mar 24, 1962 Meral Ertunc born in Anraka, Turkey. Women's Physique World magazine profiled her in May 1992, but sadly by Aug 1997 in Muscle & Fitness magazine she was reporting on 'The Fight of My Life'- breast cancer. Have not seen any recent reports about her.

Mar 24, 1962 Paul Anderson pressed 415 lbs

Mar 24, 1966 Tonya Knight born in Kirkville, Maryland. She won Ms. International in 1991, and the IFBB Pro Women's Grand Prix in Italy a month later. Her column KNIGHT TIME ran in MuscleMag International from Nov 1989 thru Aug 1994.

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

Mar 25, 1872 Horace Barre born in Montreal; died 1918 at age 46. He could 'put up' with one arm a 275 lb dumbell (surpassing Cyr's 273.25 lbs), and could, while standing Erect, hammer curl a 100 lb dumbbell. An unauthenticated carry feat attributed to Barre is to have tilted onto one shoulder an enormous barbell weighing 1,270 lbs and waking 50 feet with it at Louis Attila's New York City gym. This according to Willoughby. When the story is told by Gord Venables the weight becomes 1,450 lbs. and the distance 12'. When I have compared the statements of Venables to the statements of others, there is often disagreement, and it has been my experience that Venables is one of the lesser reliable writers when it comes to getting poundages and other details correct. For example, he once wrote that the Apollon wheels bar was 3" in diameter, when of course, it is just under 2". Venables' strong suit as a writer was not in the field of history.

Mar 25, 1909 The Arthur Saxon Trio's American debut in the Ringling Brothers Circus in Madison Square Garden.

Mar 25, 1938 Roger Eell's fourteen futile attempts to bent press the Cyr dumbbell . The bell, perplexingly, was loaded to 211, and Eells assumed it was 202 which was it's weight empty (as as the text in S&H Jun 1938 says 'partially loaded?). Anyway, on one of Eell's attempts he had the bell overhead but his feet were still spread apart, and he Was too exhausted to get them together and had to give up. He had done 235 lbs, I assume on a barbell.

Mar 25, 1966 Tony Terlazzo heart attack; died the next day

Mar 25, 1967 Bill Pearl posed in Winter Haven, Florida. I was there, and still have the autographed photo from the occasion. Bill was posing inside a cabinet- sort of like a phone booth- with an open front which faced the audience. The auditorium was darkened by turning off the lights, and when all the lights came on, bill has assumed another pose, then the lights would go off, then come on for another pose. Bill also placed two license plates back to back and tore them both in half at once.

Mar 25, 1992 Photographer Mike Neuveau's (Ironman magazine) son Spencer born

Mar 26, 1949 John Grimek won Mr. USA and Shirley Tegge won Miss USA. This was about five weeks after John had guest posed in New York City at John Terlazzo's show. Otto Arco was present then, as was George Hackenschmidt who spoke to the audience briefly.

At the Mr. USA in Los Angeles, produced by Bert Goodrich and Vic Tanny, a $1,000 prize was offered because this was a pro event. John won, with Clancy Ross in second, then Steve Reeves, George Eiferman, and Armand Tanny completing the top five in that order. Roland Essmaker, ten years after his Mr. America win also competed. This would be John's final bodybuilding competition though he would guest pose after this.

Mar 26, 1950 Homer Chelemengos won Mr. Illinois at Lakeview High School in Chicago. In second place was Jim Park, who would become Mr. America in 1952.

Mar 26, 1966 Vic Nicoletti died. As of May 1942, according to Strength and Health magazine he was training using only dumbbells. Four years later, Feb 9, 1946 he became Mr. New York City, and three years later won the inaugural competition of the Mr. Collegiate. In 1953 he won Mr. Surf Festival. In 1961 he entered the Mr. Past 40 (he was about 42/43) and won. Muscular Development reported his death in the Aug 1966 issue.

Mar 27, 1880 Hector Decarie born; Even after Louis Cyr in his 40s defeated Decarie, Cyr passed along the title to the younger Decarie. Hector died in Montreal on Jun 30, 1954, Two days after Ernest Edwin Coffin died, and four days after Dick DuBois won the Mr. America in Los Angeles.

Mar 27, 1912 Charles A. Smith born; died Jan 28, 1991. CAS as he was sometimes known was an editor for Weider publication from 1950 to 1957, and remains among the best writers in the field of physical culture. He was British, his father's position as a 'dustman' (garbageman) thwarted Charles' attempts to get ahead, at least so CAS thought, and told me. He got a taste of class though, from this taste of class refusal.

Charles suggested putting a section in Joe's mags to feature lifting, which was a sort of paradox: Hoffman resisted bodybuilding and preferred weightlifting in his rival magazine Strength & Health, early on, and Weider chose the neglected audience of bodybuilding and did not feature lifters much. Charles changed that.

After spending several days with CAS in Austin, it appeared to me that he felt somewhat like the stagehands must feel at a major production: were it not for them, there would be NO show, but the applause is never for their ears. Charles left bodybuilding in 1957, and When the sport blossomed in popularity, he felt that the direction the mags were headed was not beneficial. He missed the action. The field misses him.

Mar 27, 1926 H&S reported an incident that had happened 14 years before regarding Apollon's accident while trying to restrain two opposing cars. So in 1912 Apollon suffered a major injury which at his age then (50) all but ended his strength career. So When Thomas Inch said that by the time he met Apollon the latter was past his best, it must have been before 1912 or Inch probably would have mentioned the accident.

Mar 27, 1928 Sig Klein's daughter, Jeanne, born

Mar 27, 1953 Marvin Eder pressed 325 lbs

Mar 28, 1978 Joe Bonomo died; born Dec 25, 1901

INCH 101: Part 7

Thanks to the kindness of David Gentle I have more information about Aston/Inch/ and the challenge bell as offered in the British Amateur Weightlifter and Bodybuilder, the combined Sep/Oct 1950 issue:

On Feb 28, 1913 at the London Weightlifting Club Edward Aston was present, abounding with confidence that he would be able to lift the Inch bell. The way the text reads is that Aston was familiar with what he thought was the challenge bell and was certain he could and would lift it: "Aston made his effort amidst a silence which could be felt. His supporters expected him to lift it easily and were stupefied when it defied his mightiest efforts."

"Aston was distinctly and obviously annoyed, and made no secret of the fact. So much so that he declared THAT IT WAS NOT THE ORIGINAL CHALLENGE DUMB-BELL BUT ONE SPECIALLY PREPARED BY INCH [emphasis mine] for the particular occasion." Does Aston mean that this was a bell he had never seen during his employment with Inch?

The following puzzles me- which lift is meant? Deadlift? "It refused to leave the floor although, as soon as Inch made his onslaught, it seemed to obey his slightest behest."

Then, exactly one month later to the day:

On Friday March 28, 1913, "Mr. Thomas Inch will attempt to break the two hands and one hand anyhow heavyweight weightlifting records at the London Weightlifting Club, North St., just inside Kennington Rd. S.E.. Only a few reserved seats are left unbooked." And it was at this event that Aston had offered to bring his own plate loaded dumbbell for Inch to attempt, and when he adds the determining element perhaps in reference to what had happened on Feb 28, "I will lift my dumb-bell with one hand and lower it with one, and leave it lying there for Inch to follow suit, and shall be glad if he will leave his in a like manner for me to lift." Was this a reference to Feb 28 when Inch switched bells?

Mar 25, 1933 at the Holborn Empire in London for the annual H&S Display Day: Inch was the M.C. "Here comes Thomas Inch before the curtain. What a roar of applause greets him- Inch, holder of three world's records and one British record; Inch, whose famous challenge dumb-bell has never been lifted- though thousands of strong men have tried!".

Surely this does not refer to professional strongmen, but to men who have done some weight training, because there were not in fact thousands of men who were in the business of making an income by strength. It is similar to saying that thousands of men have tried to dunk a basketball with two hands but only a few have done it. Flawed sample. The text continues on page 387 of the Apr 8, 1933 issue of H&S where Inch is listing 40 best tips to increasing strength. In #37:" By studying psychology you will learn to get the last ounce out of yourself when in a tight corner or when records are on the tapis. This was the secret of my famous challenge dumb-bell- no one was ever able to concentrate sufficiently upon a certain set of muscles." If this logic is applied to the professional strongmen whom Inch claims to have failed to lift his 172 lb bell, then Arthur Saxon (according to Inch) must be included, which is a pitiful attempt to disparage one of the greatest mental and physical lifters the world has known. In addition it was but a year or two before this that Inch had experienced hours of delay trying to lift the bell for a second rep when that Pathe Frere film was being shot. Where was the concentrative power then?

Roark Reference #3
David Willoughby's "Strength Through The Ages" series in Strength & Health"
Feb 1961 p 42 Stone age man testing his strength
Apr 1961 p 42 Polydamus kills a lion barehanded
May 1961 p 14 Maximus extracts a mired wagon
Jun 1961 p 14 Thomas Topham
Sep 1961 p 42 Dr. Win[d]ship and his 'health lift'
Nov 1961 p 13 Apollon and his tempered bars
Dec 1961 p 42 Louis Cyr restraining horses
Mar 1962 p 42 Cyclops breaking acoin
Apr 1962 p 17 John Marz breaking a horseshoe
May 1962 p 13 Sandow carrying a pony using only one arm
Aug 1962 p 17 Hackenschmidt's wrestler's bride with 311 lbs
Oct 1962 p 13 Arthur Saxon's bent press with 370 lbs
Nov 1962 p 13 Steinback pressing 310 lbs
Dec 1962 p 25 Swoboda jerking 440 lbs
Feb 1963 p 42 Goerner deadlifting 727.50 lbs with one hand
Apr 1963 p 13 Vansittart holding out four billiard cues
Jun 1963 p 13 Dandurand wheelbarrowing 4,300 lbs
Sep 1963 p 13 Charles Rigoulot one hand snatch 253.50 lbs
Nov 1963 p 13 John Grimek lifting ten pounds on the Weaver Stick
Feb1964 p 20 Steve Stanko pullover with 300 lbs
P 53 Drawing/facts- Jenkins

With no timetable regarding when time will permit me to compose/add other Roark Reference lists, your suggestions are welcomed via the 'comment' button.

Posted by TheEditor @ 03:20 PM CST

Iron History Mar 15-21, 2002

Thursday, March 14, 2002

A word of thanks to those who send in corrections and/or additional details. Hopefully, by working together, we can offer more details and accuracy than is possible by me working alone. I never resist being corrected; truth is what we are after here, not some pet version of truth that I have to offer. So thank you for sharing and helping toward that goal!

Mar 15, 1866 Prof. Anthony Barker born in Bohemia; died 1973- yes at age 106! VIM magazine advertised his course for building strong arms in March 1940 and the cost was a quarter to be sent to 1235 6th Avenue Studio 3, NYC. His gym in that city was on the third floor of that building near 50th street (I think). Before the gym closed circa 1961 such a luminary as Al Treloar had trained there. The gym had opened in 1896, then moved to the address given above in 1920 (now Avenues of the Americas). David Chapman profiled Barker in Ironman January 2001, the same mag that presented Treloar's story on Barker in Nov 1955. Some of Barker's weights are now located in the York Barbell Hall of Fame.

Mar 15, 1921 Reuben Martin born; famous in British bodybuilding circles. He competed in the NABBA Mr. Universe once as an amateur: 1950, and ten times as a pro.

Mar 15, 1936 John Grimek gave a lifting demonstration in Chicago. At a bodyweight of 188 pounds he pressed 242, snatched 225.5 and cleaned and jerked 302.5. It was around this time that John injured his shoulder during an impromptu lifting challenge at a gym in Urbana, Illinois on the University of Illinois campus. Gym is still there. In John's day it was known as Men's Old Gym, but is now called Kenney Gym and is located at the corner of Springfield Avenue and Wright Street. When John was injured he was lifting on an elevated perimeter overlooking the main floor. Lifting with one hand he was about to lose the 270 bent press down onto the main floor, so with all-out effort he wrenched the weight (and his shoulder) backwards. John told me that he had been challenged in the usual way about muscle-bound etc., so he retorted that he could put more weight overhead with one hand than could his detractor with two. That's when the mishap took place.

John modeled for art classes here at the U of I, and I wrote to the University to confirm this, and received confirmation, but officials would not reveal how much John was paid without me getting clearance from him. So I asked him, and he said as he recalled it was about a dollar per hour- not bad money in the mid 1930s.

Mar 15, 1947 Gene Dubuque became Mr. New York City. Here are the previous winners: Jan 27, 1940 Lud Shusterich; Feb 25, 1941 & Feb 14, 1942, Frank Leight; May 13, 1945 Armon Ozon; Feb 9, 1946 Vic Nicoletti.

Mar 16, 1856 Duncan C. Ross, the famous wrestler, born in Scotland.

Mar 16, 1935 Roger Eells signed a photo for Joe Hise

Mar 16, 1977 Al & Vera Christensen were divorced. They had married on Aug 28, 1948. Vera was the lady who wrote the TO THE LADIES column for Strength & Health magazine from May 1956 onward. Her last offering for S&H was May 1986. A guess on my part is that this was the longest running column-written by the same woman- in muscle magazine history. Health & Strength had begun a 'Ladies Department' in its November 1901 issue. Mary Nugent wrote it. Does anyone know of a 'woman's section' or column offered before this?

Mar 16, 2001 Don Peters died; born Aug 5, 1936 in Minden, LA. Some years ago I was in contact with Don Peters regarding the date of a bodybuilding contest, and Don expressed regret that no one had told his full story of involvement in bodybuilding history, so I told him that would interest me, but before we started, to let me check with Flex to see if they would be interested. They were. But all my subsequent attempts to reach Don again were unsuccessful. Before long an article appeared in Ironman mag.

Don grew up in Garland, Texas, and began weight training in 1954 at age 16. He claimed to have been among the greeting party that day in 1968 in Miami the first time Arnold Schwarzenegger stepped foot in America, and the next night Arnold lost the Mr. Universe to Frank Zane.

Don met his future wife Dee at a party in 1962 and they were married on June 15, 1963 in Santa Barbara, CA. Their only child, Steve, born Sep 12, 1964 in Los Angeles, was named after Steve Reeves, and now lives in the Midwest.

Don worked as a film tech at MGM and in 1967 took a job as production assistant for Academy Films of Hollywood. Later he began making exercise equipment, and built a home gym for actor Robert Blake. In the fall of 2000 Don began having strange symptoms, his leg would become numb, and sometimes fail in its step, sometimes going numb as many as five times per day. A trip to the doctor with reported seizures led to worsening conditions and finally the central nervous system cancer took over his body. Finally on Friday, March 16, 2001, Don passed away. A memorial was held the following Wednesday, and another memorial was planned. Dee and Don had divorced eight years before he died but she looked after him in his final phase.

Don competed many times, but here are some of his victories: 1958 Mr. Dallas 1966 Mr. Los Angeles, Mr. International 1967 Mr. So. California, Mr. So. California Y, Mr. Los Angeles, Mr. Physique USA 1968 tall division IFBB Mr. America 1982 NPC Orange Coast Masters 1983 NPC Orange Coast Masters

Mar 17, 1882 Hermann Saxon born; died Dec 12, 1961. Hermann was the middle brother between older Arthur and younger Kurt. After a successful strongman career that took the brothers to several countries, Hermann lived to see his brother Arthur die on August 6, 1921, and his brother Kurt die on Sep 8, 1952.

By 1949 the once 198 lb strongman was down to 122 lbs and had been working as a naturopath and masseur in Leipzig; also did occasional artwork. Muscle Power magazine issued an appeal for readers to help him as he was in grave need of food, and aid could be sent to Leipzig N 21 (106) Schladitzer St. 9 111, Russian Zone, Germany. Readers, for whatever reasons, did not respond with much help. (this was true in other cases- wherein noted strongmen fell upon hard times and were in desperate situations and appeals made in the physical culture mags fell on turned away ears. In one case a very famous writer sent food in installments in exchange for the rare books and papers of a needy man. A friend of mine owns the sad correspondence to prove this unscrupulous behavior.)

When Hermann passed, he was cremated and his ashes were placed with his mother's grave, and a year-long appeal for funds to help with a proper grave marker netted $26.

Hermann lifted a 280 lb sack of flour every Friday night and no challenger ever succeeded in lifting that sack. The Saxons had another 'emergency sack' which contained a 56 lb blockweight to throw off the balance, and it was covered in French, or slippery, chalk.

His training on the bent press had begun at age 10. By 1915 he and Kurt were drafted into the German army- Arthur was refused because of his blind right eye. After the war Arthur and Hermann performed as a duo, while Kurt performed as a solo act.

Strength & Health Mar 1962 p 21 says Hermann died Dec 2; Gaudreau in Anvils, Horseshoes, and Cannons, says in Vol 2 page 9 that the date was Dec 12.

Mar 17, 1900 David P. Willoughby born; died Jan 17, 1983 If the works of DPW were to be removed from the database of bodybuilding and weightlifting, we would be in the dark ages for tracing many of the events we are now able to track because of his wonderful research and data-gathering. His contributions cannot be over-esteemed. His analysis of lifts and measurements and relationships are bewildering in their reach and gratifying in their presentation. Every time I encounter an article by David, I make a photocopy and put it in chronological order in a binder. It is the best 'book' in my library, and this is the reason lists of his articles will be appearing occasionally in Iron History. His body of work in the iron sports is invaluable. He was unimpressed with reputations or claims and always sought proof. He was a 'fan' in the intelligent sense, not the manic sense, so his first love was fact not fabrication or false claim, and it is very interesting to notice in his writings about whom he did NOT write�

His book The Super Athletes, published in 1970, should be in the library of anyone seeking information about the history of lifting. This book, combined with his many magazine articles, literally compose a resource that is un-matchable.

DPW, as he was fondly known contributed to virtually every main magazine in the field of physical culture contemporary to him. His works were intense, not shallow fluff, but numbers, details, dates, biographical information, comparative charts etc., that make a person interested in tracing history absolutely gleefully giddy!

There should be a bust of DPW in the Hall of Fame in York, in my prejudiced, biased, and unchangeable, opinion. Our field is much poorer with his absence, which sadly was caused by pneumonia.

Mar 17, 1950 Mary Roberts born; won IFBB Pro World in Toronto on April 21, 1985, a few months after placing third in the Ms. Olympia. In 1983 she had won the National Bodybuilding Fair competition.

Mar 17, 1970 Larry Jackson won Mr. California

Mar 17, 1994 Melvin Wells died; born Feb 2, 1919

Mar 18, 1949 George Paine won Mr. Metropolitan

Mar 18, 1950 John Farbotnik won Mr. California, which, I think, was his third victory, having won the 1946 Mr. Chicago and the 1949 Mr. Illinois.

Mar 18, 1965 Anna Saxon died. Elder sister to the Saxon brothers, and she lived the longest.

Mar 19, 1898 Prof. Szalay's Club in London presented a show entitled "A Scene with Sampson"

Mar 19, 1924 Claimed day for Stout Jackson's 6,472 lbs backlift. This lift exceeds the publicized claim of Paul Anderson which was 6,270, though I have a letter in my files in which Paul asserts that actually his lift was a couple hundreds pounds more than that, so 6,470- which is very close, of course, to Jackson's claim. Nothing is left of Jackson's backlift set-up (huge bales of hay) so we cannot weigh any of his ingredients. Paul's safe, as has been mentioned, weighed 1,200 lbs less than was counted in calculating his total, so that total by common sense and solid math must be reduced by that much.

Mar 19, 1949 The Edward C. Kinsey report from the judges this day awarded him Mr. Arkansas.

Mar 19, 1984 Principal photography began on the movie, THE TERMINATOR, the ninth movie appearance of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold recently began work on the third Terminaotr movie.

Mar 19, 1999 Joe DiPietro died in Fair Lawn, NJ, at age 84. Born Jun 8, 1914 Readers of Strength & Health first glanced Joe in the Nov 1939 issue on page 34, and then read his letter to the editor seven pages later, where his name is spelled Di Pietro:

"Dear Bob, Enclosed you will find a picture of myself and I'll appreciate any criticism or comment you will care to make about it. I first started to lift with homemade weights and now I have a York 210 pound set. In a few months my lifts have increased rapidly. My best lifts at present are: press 160, snatch 133, clean and jerk 170, height 4-10, weight 112, chest 38, waist 27-7/8, forearm 10-3.4, biceps 13-3/8, thigh 20, calf 13-1/2, neck 15." Ironman magazine would report in Oct 1946 that Joe had a wrist girth of 7"- (which was large for a person with his other dimensions).

Six months later Joe placed 3rd at the Sr. National WL championships in the new 123.5 class, where because of his very short arm length his snatch of 160 was not allowed because the judges thought he had rested the bar on his head! So far as I know, Joe's last lifting competition was the 1953 New Jersey championships where he won the 123 class. Joe won the 1943 Sr. Nats, and the 1947 Sr. Nats, and the 1947 Worlds championships- all in the 123 class. He also won the 1948 and 1949 Sr. Nats, and the 1949 Worlds, and the 1951 Pan American, and the Sr. Nats that year.

He, of course, had very short fingers and this made a regulation diameter barbell a 'thick' bar to him. Pudgy Stockton has a specially made 1" diameter 6' long Olympic bar, and Joe delighted in handling it.

Mar 20, 1881 Amy Banta born. Later became the mother of Joe Hise

Mar 20, 1918 Warren Lincoln Travis teeth lift of 311 lbs. If Travis had false teeth, would this have been a false lift? (sorry�)

Mar 20, 1942 Ken Waller born. Famous for his tee-shirt stealing scene in the movie Pumping Iron, Waller won Mr. Kentucky in 1965, Mr. Midwest in 1968, the amateur Mr. World in 1970. His loss of standing as an amateur because of an ad for 'Slim Gym' which appeared in Life magazine in the Oct 9, 1970 issue did not stop his contest success. He switched to the IFBB and won the 1975 Mr. Universe.

Waller made an appearance on TV in 'People's Court' because one of his gym members was trying to get a refund. Health & Strength magazine informed us that as of late 1982, Ken was managing Gold's Gym for his 'friend, physique model, Dakota' who was also, apparently known as Ken Sprague. Ten years later during the brief glory day(s) of the WBF [World Bodybuilding Federation, an offshoot of the WWF] Ken sat as a judge at their June13, 1992 event.

Mar 20, 1995 John William Minton aka Big John Studd, died. Born Feb 19, 1948

Mar 21, 1873 Louis Haider born in Pforzheim, Germany. At only 5' tall his calf measured 16", which Willoughby estimated was close to the 'theoretical muscular limit for a man of Haider's height'.

Mar 21, 1879 Joseph Steinbach born. The rumored proposed match between Joseph/Josef and Arthur Saxon never materialized but they did lift together in Austria, were friends, and the Saxons occasionally dined at Steinbach's restaurant.

Mar 21, 1918 Ottley Coulter was an integral part of John Fair's excellent piece in Iron Game History May 1993: "George Jowett, Ottley Coulter, David P. Willoughby, and the Organization of American Weightlifting 1911-1924". Ottley's materials and papers later became part of the Todd-McLean Collection at the U of Texas in Austin. On this date he lifted a total of 7,306 pounds while participating in the Police Gazette Tournament in Brooklyn, New York. He weighed 145 lbs.

Mar 21, 1918 Santo Leono was born. He guest posed a couple of times at Sig Klein's Strength Shows (May 29, 1943 and Nov 14, 1947) and won Mr. New York State on Jan 15, 1948. He was coverman for Ironman 5:1, Your Physique May 1941, and in 1943 for the March and July issues. Also Strength & Health March 1943. He once placed 4th in a contest but had five men ahead of him (ties for second and third, plus the winner).

Mar 21, 1953 Paul Anderson's second weightlifting competition. He won the Dixie Championships in Atlanta via 300-250-325 (press, snatch, clean & jerk)

Mar 21, 1966 Steve & Ann Klisanin's daughter Robin Elaine, born.

Mar 21, 1974 Sergio Oliva on the TOMORROW TV show

Mar 21, 1974 Bob Jones died; born Feb 20, 1904. This is the famous handbalancer, not the Bob Jones with one arm written about in H&S 1947, and S&H 1949. This Jones wrote for S&H beginning in Oct 1935, and contined writing sporadicially until his final piece in the Oct 1956 issue. Mostly he wrote about balancing. A photo of his 'thumbs stand' on Indian clubs appears in The Super Athletes on page 239.

Mar 21, 1988 Iva Hise, Joe Hise's sister �in-law died; born Aug 7, 1906

Mar 21, 1988 Harold Ansorge died; born Aug 18, 1916

Mar 21, 1991 Oscar Heidenstam died; born Feb 27, 1911. An annual award dinner is held in England in his honor on the third Saturday of March.

INCH 101: Part 6

The March 15, 1941 issue of Health & Strength magazine mentions that Thomas Inch had taken his lifting demonstration/competition to a factory in Guildford on March 6th. Though more details are covered in the next week's issue of H&S we will treat the matter this week. "�and after his usual lecture and demonstration arranged a weight-lifting competition. Although one or two workers were exceptionally able performers, Inch, after 45 years active participation in the Iron Game showed them- in defeating them- that 'Strong men don't die young'. The consolation prize was won by Lgr. T. Wright."

Though no more details are given this was probably a version of his dumbbell competition with the 140 lb bell, because another reference H&S Aug 2, 1941 relates how he "�attends large factories�" and "�after 40 years weight lifting, still issues his challenge with valuable prizes to anyone who can lift his challenge dumb-bell". The text then reveals that as of that time no one had yet succeeded. Though this is called the challenge bell (172) it no doubt was the competition bell (140) or even the 130 as Inch was age 59 at this time, and had been unable to lift the 172 for quite a while.

Perhaps Inch could have used a dose of the humility that Edward Aston exhibited when he toured a factory and watched the workmen. Muscle Power Sep 1947 recounts the incident which has to do with what we now call 'specificity' of training. page 40, where Wilfred Diamond remembers: "Aston himself, after I had taken him through the Barrow Hematite Steel Works, and he had seen men pushing wheelbarrows full of iron ore up a steep incline to be dumped into the furnaces, decided that he had no right to the title - [World's Strongest Man] he could not do what he saw these laborers do." Certainly the laborers could not have matched Aston's lifts in the bent press or other specialized movements, but Aston had the humility to know that not everyone can be best at everything. So who wins depends on which movements are included in the contest.

Mar 17, 1934 On this date another of Inch's challenge competitions with the 140 lb bell was staged, though it had originally been scheduled for Mar 17th. Coming into this competition "So far, three men have lifted the competition bell off the ground, and their names are Mssrs: Fairbrother, Spacey, and Chowles." Apparently getting the 140 to the knee with one hand was still a starwalt accomplishment because Inch was promising "a Really splendid trophy for merely raising the dumb-bell to the knees single handed".

So after the regionals had been staged, the finals of the competition were held on March 17 and the competitors were the above named men plus W. Newman. The Chowles was a C. Chowles, which I suspect was a typo for G. Chowles. Newman had managed to single hand jerk the bell seven reps from the shoulder coming into this competition, but on this night, apparently, Fairbrother won with six reps. I lack some of the magazines which covered this event so cannot offer more information. Inch was stellar in his announcement that the bell was the 140, not his challenge bell. And, of course, two hands were allowed to bring the bell to the shoulder, before the single handed jerk attempt.

George Chowles was Ron Walker's up and coming competition as outlined in The Superman magazine June 1933. Chowles I think was born in 1912, and at the time of the competition weighed 210 lbs or so "�and his frame is modeled on such massive lines (he has an eight inch wrist) that it will probably take another stone [14 pounds] without overloading." Perhaps there was a C. Chowles, though, about whom I am ignorant.

Roark Reference #2: David Willoughby's "A History of American Weightlifting" series for Your Physique magazine, March 1949 thru March 1950 in 13 parts.

Mar 1949 p 10 #1 George Barker Win[d]ship, William Buckingham Curtis, Richard Pennell, Robert Jeffries Roberts, David L. Dowd.

Apr 1949 p 8 #2 The first open WL competition in America; Richard K. Fox's 1030 lb cast weight; James Walter Kennedy, Charles G. Jefferson, Eugen Sandow, Oscar Matthes.

May 1949 p 18 #3 Louis Cyr and other superheavyweights; Horace Barre, Warren Lincoln Travis, Sebastian Miller, Henry Holtgrewe.

Jun 1949 p 24 #4 George Rolandow, John Y. Smith, Paul von Boeckman

Jul 1949 p 14 #5 Warren Lincoln Travis

Aug 1949 p 8 #6 Alan Calvert; 1915 WL event in San Francisco with Noah Young, Owen Carr, Alexander Karasick, and Alfred Martin

Sep 1949 p 8 #7 Some early Milo Barbell stars: Robert Synder, Al Tauscher, Charles McMahon, Ottley Coulter, Melvin Tampke, Clevio Massimo, Joe Nordquest, Adolph Nordquest.

Oct 1949 p 8 #8 The Los Angeles Athletic Club

Nov 1949 p 8 #9 American WL during the 1920s.

Dec 1949 p 16 #10 American WL and leading American lifters 1930-1932.

Jan 1950 p 22 #11 Progress from 1933 to 1938.

Feb 1950 p 20 #12 Leading lifters 1938 to 1941.

Mar 1950 p 20 #13 Leading lifters 1946 to 1949.

Posted by TheEditor @ 06:18 PM CST

Iron History Mar 8-16, 2002

Wednesday, March 6, 2002

A Personal Word: Iron History is not intended to be encyclopedic in scope; it is presented with the hope that the reader will be stimulated to pursue other studies in regard to some of the topics presented. I intend to whet the appetite, not present a Viking feast. On some of these topics my files contain enough information for books to be written; on other topics, such as Val Njord (see below) very little info is on hand.

Starting this week, and on an occasional basis, I will be adding references to where some of the major series of articles have been presented in the bodybuilding/lifting magazines. This will be located at the bottom of the column. For collectors or for those wanting to read extensively, this may prove helpful.

All suggestions are welcome.

Mar 8, 1867 George Zottman born. The man after whom the Zottman curl is named, and though several variations have appeared through the years under the guise of this exercise, the manner in which Zottman zeroed in on it was in general terms: Using a dumbbell in each hand with the arms hanging in front of the thighs, begin a curl with the right hand with the dumbbell describing an arc with the near end of the dumbbell almost grazing the abs and pec as it nears the right shoulder. At the shoulder turn the wrist so that as the descending half of the circle continues, a reverse curl is being performed as the bell goes away from the right side of your torso and continues to the starting point. BUT. When the bell reached the shoulder, then begin the left hand curl inward grazing the abs and pec on its ascent. Both arms 180 degrees out of phase with each other- as one hand is at a shoulder, the other is at a thigh. Zottman curls are impossible to perform while seated, or on an incline bench. A useful tip if using adjustable dumbells is to butt the plates all the way to the end of the bar that will be grazing the torso, thus allowing the bell to remain close to the body and preventing a forwarding of the hand away from the body which would bring the shoulder into more involvement.

There were those who preferred to reverse this process, but by beginning with a reverse curl toward the shoulder, the amount of weight is limited, whereas if the palms up curl begins the exercise, when the reverse curl comes into play, it will of course be a negative movement and will therefore allow more weight to be handled.

Zottman was known for his grip strength and at age 50 in 1917 could pinch grip two 50 pound plates together. These were described as 2" thick, but the text is unclear if this means each plate was 2" thick or the total width was 2". George died in 1942 at age 75.

Mar 8, 1921 Donne Hale born. Donne wrote the Bits of Brawn column for Ironman from Feb 1964 thru Sep 1966, and he ran the SANDY SURF hotel in Florida at which Weider would occasionally stay in Miami. Donne also published his own Florida Weight Man and so far as I know there were eleven issues of this newsletter, which began in 1966 and a blurb in Strength & Health relayed the offer that for a five cent postage stamp a sample copy would be sent to you. The good old days. So far as I know Donne is doing okay.

Mar 8, 1960 Lee Labrada born. His pro debut was a victory at the Jun 14, 1986 Night of Champions in NYC. He also won the Grand Prix in Athens, Nottingham, and Barcelona that year, and three more in 1989:Brustor, DeHaag, and Helsinki. His final win was the 1992 IFBB Pro World Cup, and he retired following a 5th placing at the 1995 Arnold Classic.

Mar 8, 1968 Arnold Schwarzenegger is interviewed by Christopher Ward for the London Daily Mirror.

Mar 9, 1916 Terry Robinson born. At 5'6" Terry competed in Class A in the Mr. NYC contest, placing 3rd in 1939, and second in 1940 and 1941 before winning it in 1942. In the AAU Mr. America he was 5th in 1940 and 6th the following year.

Mar 9, 1966 Fitness model Amy Lynn born, and was profiled in Muscular Development magazine in Feb 1995.

Mar 10, 1887 Donald Dinnie and his wife tended to an ill James Fleming in Melbourne.

Mar 10, 1902 George Lurich "�'body-curl' with one hand a kettlebell weighing 154.3 pounds while kneeling on the floor on one knee and with the opposite foot flat on the floor." This was in Prague on this date when he also made his two arm jerk record of 344 pounds (no mention of cleaning it).

Mar 10, 1992 In the lobby of a hotel I saw Bill Reynolds in 1992 and started to walk over to introduce myself, but at the same moment he rose and began walking the other way, and his walk was the walk of a man aged 105, it was obvious that he did not feel well, so I did not approach him. A week later on March 10, he had not been in to work at Weider headquarters and had not called in, so a couple of employees went to check on him and found him dead.

Bill was a prolific writer and had instant judging ability- he could watch the men file on stage and know who had won- not because the event was fixed, but because what would take most of us a few minutes to figure out, he knew at once.

Mar 11, 1884 Kurt Saxon, younger brother to Arthur and Hermann was born. Kurt had debuted with Ringling Brother Circus in Madison Square Garden in 1909. He died on Sep 8, 1952 [not Sep 5] and his gravestone photo shows this date, see Strength & Health magazine Jul 1958.

Kurt was brutally strong, and on his 50th birthday had, using the little finger only of each hand, overheaded an 88 lb kettlebell in each hand.

Mar 11, 1896 Hans Beck won the European heavyweight weightlifting championship- there was only one weight class. To win, Beck performed the following: Two Hands Press for 27 reps with 154.5 lbs., and some other lifts. As Gaudreau notes "It must not be imagined that a 'press' as performed by most of the old-time strongmen was a strict military press. It was more like a 'push'. The French were stricter in their performance of this and other lifts".

Mar 11, 1950 A dinner was held honoring weightlifter John Davis in NYC.

Mar 11, 1989 One of the judges at the 2002 Arnold Classic bodybuilding contest was Rich Gaspari, who on Mar 11, 1989, had won the inaugural version of this event.

Mar 12, 1910 The date a challenge was issued to Arthur Saxon from Josef Steinbach through the person of Tromp van Diggelen. Eight lifts were involved, with the bent press among them. Kurt explained to Leo Gaudreau how easily van Diggelin's stake money of $5000 would have entered the bank account of Arthur Saxon. Further, Kurt had never heard of van Diggelin, and asserted that Steinbach and the Saxons were friends and had been so for years, and that the Saxons were in America at the time the challenge was issued, but later socialized with Steinbach circa 1912, and one gets the sense that Steinbach was not aware that such a challenge had been issued.

Mar 12, 1927 Keith Stephen born. Coverman for Ironman mag Feb 1952. After being released from the the U.S. Navy, Keith trained at Leo Stern's gym, and won the 1951 Mr. San Diego, after failing to place is his first contest, the Mr. California. He also placed 5th in the AAU Mr. America for 1951.

Mar 13, 1903 Harry L. Good born. Died Jul 22, 1998. Harry, along with Bill and Harvey were known as the Good Brothers. Harry began writing for Strength & Health in March 1933 thru Jan 1937. They had a fillable, huge, dumbbell for hip/harness lifting which often was filled to about a ton. This is the bell now on display in Adamstown, Pennsylvania at a spring water company.

Mar 13, 1908 Arthur Saxon's accident at the Cirque Royale in Brussels, Belgium. He was performing the support called Broadlands on Four Legs in which a car with, in this case, nine wrestlers sitting in it were on a bridge on stage as Arthur was helping support the approximately two tons of weight. A mishap caused the apparatus to collapse and the resultant injuries kept Arthur from performing for almost a year.

Kurt Saxon recounted the event in Strength & Health magazine Sep 1949: "We first attempted this novel supporting feat in 1908 with the Hengler's Circus in London, England. It proved to be a remarkable drawing card. The original bridge was shorter, but we eventually worked up to a bridge 69 feet long. The bridge was supported in different ways, with one man at each end and later with heavier weights and both men side by side in the middle of the circus arena. First a bicycle with rider crossed, then a horse with rider, and finally a heavy motor car with up to ten passengers. Because the crossing vehicles were in motion the shifting weight caused terrific strain on the supporters and made the act most dangerous for the performers."

From London where this debuted, they took the feature to Brussels where on Friday the 13th of March the mishap happened. Kurt and Arthur were the supporters when the mishap took place. Kurt suffered some broken bones but "We were young and adventurous in those days and despite many minor accidents we continued to include it and other hazardous feats in our act. Strongmanism was our business and we were not satisfied to be anything but the very best."

Mar 13, 1948 I have sometimes thought that an interesting article to research would be "The Buildings of Bodybuilding"- meaning the buildings where physique contests have been staged repeatedly. Off the cuff, I would think that the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles would have to be among the most frequently used venues. Just a guess. But on this date four contests were staged at the Shrine. Pudgy and Les Stockton performed their handbalancing act which they had perfected on the sands of Muscle Beach, and the three contests were:

Mr. Western America which was won by Jack Delinger (though his name was presented as Dillinger), followed by George Eiferman and Bill Melby.

The Mr. USA was taken by Clancy Ross with Steve Reeves in second and Alan Stephan in third, followed by Eric Pedersen. This USA contest was a professional event with the prize being $1,000 and a screen test for the movie SAMSON & DELILAH. This brings us to the third contest, as a sub-section, almost:

Mr. Samson, which was won by Clancy Ross

The fourth contest was Miss USA and was won by Val Njord, who was a beautiful red- headed woman who later posed for cheesecake photos and made appearances on some muscle magazine covers. In spite of many efforts, I have been unable to determine whatever happened to Val. Apparently (according to Muscle Power Aug 1949), she was also known by the name Ann Cole.

Val posed for some jungle girl photos for Esquire, and made the covers of LAFF, PICTURE SHOW, and DETECTIVE STORY.

In YOUR PHYSIQUE magazine she wrote a column entitled "Advice to the Male" The final reference I have seen about her was in Health & Strength Feb 21, 1952 where Fallon wrote the rhetorical piece "So, You Want a Figure Like Val's?"

If any readers have a lead for me to find whatever happened to Val Njord, I would be very grateful for the help. What appeared to be a promising career seems to have stopped very suddenly. But having exhausted all my usual sources, I am hoping one of you can supply some info. Please?

Mar 13, 1983 Court Saldo, Monte Saldo's son, died at age 72. Court wrote an occasional column for Health & Strength magazine from 1955 thru 1967 (at least, perhaps longer, my records are incomplete due to missing magazines).

Mar 14, 1865 Paul Pons born. I believe he was world wrestling champion in 1904 and 1910- perhaps some readers can correct this if wrong. And although he had been entangled in many wrestling holds in his day, he died in one foot of water while entangled in a fishing net!

It was Pons who suggested that the weight of the Apollon's barbell be changed, so that instead of the 200 lbs that Apollon had requested be placed in his shot/sand loadable bell, Pons said to Batta that instead of fooling with the sand and weighing of it, let's just place the solid spheres onto the bar! The bar had a diameter of 2.5" and when the globes were empty weighed about 143 pounds and was thus heavy enough with the thick bar, to prevent many strongmen from bringing it to the shoulders.

But Apollon's wife had incorrectly told him that the Rasso Trio would be in the audience to challenge him that day. In fact they were present out of respect. Anyway, Apollon when challenged would scare mathematicians with the amounts he could lift. When the solid spheres were in place on the 2.5" bar, the whole weighed 341 lbs! Batta and Pons on this day in 1892 had decided to be ready to flee if Apollon became angry at them. Not to worry. Apollon grabbed the bell thinking it weighed about 141 lbs less than it in fact did weigh and "Grasping the bar with both hands, he cleaned it in a flash�" then rammed it overhead, transferred the bell to his right hand, stood only on his left leg while raising his right leg off the floor. So on stage at the Varieties Theatre that afternoon Apollon cleaned and jerked 25 lbs less than the Apollon wheels but on a bar more than �" thicker than the axle of the wheels, and it was an effort that in no way could be described as all-out or total or his limit.

So to those who say Apollon could not lift the wheels, please write your fiction in some other field, or explain why my explanation is not valid.

Mar 14, 1893 Henry 'Milo' Steinborn born. Died Feb 9, 1989. Strength & Health magazine in Jul 1954 avers that Milo brought the squat lift to America after WWI. A version of the lift, called the Steinborn lift or the Steinborn squat, refers to performing a squat by oneself- no power rack, no squat stands, simply take the barbell, up end one end of it then lean under it as it is lowered onto the back, perform squats, then reverse the process so that the bell is again on the floor. His 1924 record of 552.5 lbs done in this manner appears to be the extant record so far as I know. Ironman Oct 1950 gives the explanation for how to self-load the barbell onto the back for his Steinborn squats. Steinborn was based in Tampa, Florida and was a wrestler and a wrestling promoter, and had his own gym at 2371 Orange Street in Orlando, Florida.

Though I suspect he gave up the Steinborn squat as his years accumulated, he nonetheless could squat at age 70 with over 400 lbs.

Milo was a prisoner of war during WWI and using logs as resistance in his squats in The camp he gained considerable strength. One wonders about the nutritional aspects of such camps.

His wrestling career comprised more than 300 bouts. It is said that his watch was inscribed with "H. Milo Steinborn, 3-14-93. Expected departure, 1989."

It was Steinborn who brought to America a Berg Hantel (barbell) upon which (it is claimed) the York barbell was fashioned..

Steinborn told Bob Schmidt that he had the ability to regurgitate pieces of food for further chewing�and then there is the story of bending a lengthy I-beam by placing it on his shoulder and having several men hang from it�that story may require some mental regurgitation�

Mar 14, 1967 Fitness diva Kiana Tom born.

Mar 14, 1974 Gene Dubuque died. He had wrestled as Magnificent Maurice, and was profiled in Ironman magazine in Sep 1968. Dubuque placed second in the tall class at the 1946 AAU Mr. NYC, then the next year won that title. In 1948 he switched to the IFBB version of the Mr. NYC and did not place. Then in 1949 he did not make it into the top eight placings for the IFBB Mr. No. America.

Mar 14, 1997 Tony Baillargeon died. Tony, with his brothers were featured in Iron Game History (U of Texas) in Jan 2000 when David Chapman translated HOMAGE AUX CELEBRES FRERES BAILLARGEON. IGH is an excellent publication, though so infrequently published (four issues in the past two years) that some subscribers become frustrated awaiting the irregular release of another issue. It is a worthy publication in need of a regular publication schedule. In Jan 2000 a photo of all six Baillargeon brothers is included: Adrien, Paul, Lionel, Jean, Charles, and Antonio.

Mar 14, 2000 The TV premiere of "Son of the Beach" starring former competitive bodybuilder Roland Kickinger. Who, since forsaking bodybuilding has been reduced to hanging around those Hollywood sets with bikini-clad women. Hate to say I told you so, Roland�

INCH 101: Part 5 The BAWLA (British Amateur Weight-Lifters' Association) honored Inch on this date. The story is told in Health & Strength magazine Mar 9, 1912:

"We, the members of the British Amateur Weight-Lifters' Association, desire to place on record our sincere appreciation to the great services you have rendered to the cause of Physical Culture in general, and especially to Weight-lifting.

"Unflagging in your energy, enterprising in making use of every opportunity, resourceful in emergency, and undisturbed amid the vicissitudes which are a part of the work you have undertaken and carry through with such remarkable success, you have never spared yourself in promoting Physial Culture by such means as have, from time to time, presented themselves.

"In the early days, when Weight-lifting was looked upon with suspicion, if not with actual disapproval, you clearly saw its possibilities an an effective means to a worthy end, and took a foremost part in pioneering and popularising it.

"From its inception you have taken a deep and generous interest in the progress of our Association, its rapid growth and increasing influence being largely due to the public- spirited manner in which you have supported it.

"If our Association achieves its objects- that of raising Weight-lifting from a state of chaos into a place well-regulated and honourable conducted sports, its success will be due, in no small measure, to your continual help, your many acts of generosity, and the kindly and sportsmanlike spirit which has conceived them.

"We feel quite unable adequately to express our gratitude, and must content ourselves by saying that there is no Physical Culturist, and especially none who enters into its most strenuous form- that of Weight-lifting- but is under a heavy debt to you for your conspicuous services, which have been, at once, signal, sustained, and effective." It was signed by E. Stewart Smith, Harold B. Nunn, Charles Coster, W.D. Ford, Ben Gray, Frederick G. Horton, Walter House, Frederick Mogford. Thomas Edward Pevier, Charles F. Savory, E.J. Wollaston, A.B. Gunnel.

Roark References #1: Here is a list of the Kings of Strength series that David P. Willoughby ran in Ironman magazine from May 1957 thru June 1963. The # indicates the description that DPW gave to the chapter. You will notice that these numbers are not in chronological order.

May 1956 p 25 #1 From earliest times to present day
Jul 1956 p 24 #2 Middle ages to early modern
Sep 1956 p 36 #3 Thomas Topham
Nov 1956 p 34 #4 Early American strongmen
Jan 1957 p 28 #5 Early American strongmen 1873-1891
Mar 1957 p 30 #6 Donald Dinnie and other British strongmen
May 1957 p 28 #7 Early German & Austrian strongmen
Jul 1957 p 34 #7 Early Viennese strongmen
Nov 1957 p 32 #8 Early European strongmen, Italians 1840-1896
Jan 1958 p 28 #8 Italian & French strongmen
Mar 1958 p 28 #9 Apollon, emperor of athletes
May 1958 p 22 #9 When Apollon became angry
Jul 1958 p 32 #10 Continental strongmen of the 1890s
Sep 1958 p 28 #11 Sampson & Cyclops: coin breakers
Nov 1958 p 34 #11 The Rasso Trio
Jan 1959 p 26 #12 The coming of Eugen Sandow
Mar 1959 p 22 #12 How good was Sandow?
May 1959 p 30 #13 When WL was first organized in Germany & Austria 1891-1906
Jul 1959 p 23 #13 Early German & Austrian strongmen
Oct 1959 p 26 #14 Strongmen who tried to dethrone Sandow
Jan 1960 p 26 #14 Some early American strongmen
Feb 1960 p 24 #11 Famous American strongmen of the 1880s
Apr 1960 p 28 #11 Famous American strongmen of the 1880s
Dec 1960 p 24 #16 Louis Cyr, daddy of'em all
Jan 1961 p 30 #16 Louis Cyr, daddy of'em all
Mar 1961 p 26 #17 Some mighty French-Canadians
May 1961 p 30 #17 Famous old time French-Canadians
Jul 1961 p 28 #18 First weightlifting championships of 1898
Jan 1962 p 22 #18 George Hackenschmidt, the strong man
Mar 1962 p 30 #19 George Lurich, Russian world champion 1900
Jun 1962 p 26 #19 Famous early Russian strongmen
Oct 1962 p 26 #20 Famous old time French strongmen
Dec 1962 p 28 #20 Famous old time French strongmen
Feb 1963 p 26 #21 Champion Continental athletes of the early 1900s
Apr 1963 p 24 #21 Strongmen of the early 1900s
Jun 1963 p 32 #22 Early European professional strongmen
[chapter 15 was never published. DPW referred to the series as 'incomplete'. But the
above list reflects every installment that Ironman presented]

Posted by TheEditor @ 03:50 PM CST


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