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This is THE PLACE for incredible feats, classic and unique equipment, advertisements, magazine covers, Olympic Champions, gymnastics, myths and legends, oldtime physical culture and everything else you can think of having to do with the history of physical training! -- There aint nothin' like it anywhere else! You'll want to check back several times per day, we update often.

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The Geisel Exerciser

Here's one for the "betcha-didn't-know-this-one" pile: Here we have a vintage advertisement for "The Geisel Exercises" which appeared in the December, 1907 issue of Bernarr McFadden's 'Physical Culture' magazine. This device was actually patented in 1906 and is composed of a rod, encased by a heavy spring with a pair of handles. One uses it by grasping the handles and pushing or pulling them together in various positions. And this Geisel fellow from Springfield, Mass. who invented it? It doesnt appear that he made a tremendous splash in the physical training field but his son would go on to be Dr. Suess of children's book fame.

The Iron Shoe Exerciser

The Iron Shoe exerciser was a great oldtime piece of training equipment which has roots going back pretty far into strength history. As you may notice by the design, it is "horse shoe" shaped -- which is meant to mimic an actual horse shoe, the bending of which was a great oldtime feat and a mark of great strength. The "iron Shoe" provided a method of progressive resistance in some of the positions needed for horseshoe bending and trained the body, especially the grip and forearms in a very unique manner.  This particular shoe was sold by George F. Jowett.

Arteondo The Stone Lifter

Even with all the impressive weight lifting numbers that we come across on a daily basis, Basque stone lifting feats are a continual source of amazement. Case in point, here we have Bittor Zabala, also known in stone lifting circles as Arteondo, lifting a stone into his lap of well over 400 pounds. This was taken in 1924. Arteondo's stone lifting career lasted from 1910 through 1945 and he was instrumental in standardizing the weights and shapes of the stones and making stone lifting into more of a competitive sport.

Louis Chiarelli's Record

Louis Chiarelli, of New York City, is pictured here setting an all-time record by pressing 308 pounds while in the wrestler's bridge. Chirelli was 5'2" and 152 pounds at the time but this would be an impressive feat at any bodyweight. Chiarelli sported a 48-inch chest and 17-inch arms.

The Superior Finger Exerciser

This nifty device never appeared in any strength magazine, it was actually marketed to musicians at the turn of the last century. I believe this is an idea with some interesting possibilities...

Angled Rope Climbing

"From a single climbing and descending of a 30 foot rope each day (which took about two minutes) William Bankier "The Scottish Hercules" obtained infinitely better results as far as arm development than did an acquaintance who devoted a half hour each day to exercises especially for the biceps."

Atlas and Vulcana

William Hedley Roberts, "Atlas" and Miriam Kate Williams "Vulcana" traveled the musical halls of Britain, Europe and Australia performing amazing feats of strength. Atlas weighed only 124 pounds and claimed to have beaten one of Louis Cyr's Records although the veracity of this claim is doubtful. Vulcana was the more impressive of the two, legitimately and officially performing a bent-press of 124½ pounds and an overhead lift with a 56 pound blockweight in each hand in front of Professor Desbonnet. The Professor was so impressed that he gave Vulcana a medal for her efforts. The Vulcana Women's Circus, still active today in Australia, is named in her honor.

The 1906 Rutgers University Gymnastics Team

A rare look at the 1906 Rutgers University Gymnastics Team. Captain and horizontal bar and flying rings expert Thomas Devan (class of '06) is sitting front and center. On the lower left and right sits club swinging experts Frank Morrison (class of '09) and Charles Thompson (class of '08). Morrison won the collegiate club-swinging championship in 1908.

Desbonnet's Expander

You can add Professor Desbonnet's name to the long list of strength champions who have used chest expanders to build size and strength. Expader training has always been popular, this pictures dates to 1891. This particular exercise, performing a 1-arm curl with one end of the expander underfoot, is one of the all-time best methods for building arm strength and why you'll find it in just about every expander course ever written.

The York Adjustable Crusher

"The York Adjustable Crusher Body Developer is a new York feature and one that will provide novelty and diversion in your training. Being adjustable, its resistance can be increased or decreased to match the strength of any enthusiast. Muscles respond readily to this form of training because it is concentrated action. Employ as many springs as your strength will permit to complete the specified number of repetitions. In movements where one arm is exercised, be sure to repeat an equal number of repetitions with the opposite arm."

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