It took me four years but I finally tracked down a copy of the rare course "The Art of Expander Pulling" by Thomas INch -- and it was worth the wait. There's no date on it but I would guess it was printed in the 1920's and as far as rare training courses, this one is simply impossible to find.
Thomas Inch, who is probably most famous for his incredible grip strength and his "unliftable" dumbbell was actually a very well rounded strongmen who excelled in many different types of feats - and some of his favorites were with chest expanders.
In his strongman act he used to do a standard press out with a 56 lb. kettlebell hanging on each thumb, and the expander generally had 30 strands on it.
Not bad at all...
Here's a few hints from the master:
"The first thing to do is to make sure your expander is of the detachable kind."
"The Secret to great strength is gradual progression, and as there is no doubt whatever that a large majority of physical culturists only use expanders so that they may become stronger than their fellows, it behoves them to practice themselves in a position to practice on the right lines and this means using handles which will take several strands."
"When starting out, enter the number of strands you find comfortable and easy to exercise with, going right through your movements without a pause, if possible, thus developing endurance as well as mere muscle."
"Start with, say, only five or six repetitions each hand of each exercise, and gradually work up to ten each hand. Keep at ten for a week or two, then return to five or six repetitions, and add another strand."
"The weight lifter will be advised to use a strong pull in every day work, and each day, or every other day, try himself out on strength tests I have previously quoted with a view to increasing pushing power for different lifts."
All good info, and all very useful if you happen to be paying attention.
Just goes to show you that sound training info never gets old. Chest Expanders, of course, make a great addition to any training program. We've actually reprinted this course and include it with "All About Strand Pulling" by Syd Devis
if you would like to check out you own copy.