Tom Burrows and Lt. Col. Dean

Posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2019 by John Wood
Tom Burrows and Lt. Col. Dean
Tom Burrows “The King of Clubs” took it upon himself to spread the gospel of Indian club swinging far and wide. Here he and Lt. Col. Dean perform at the London Homeopathic Hospital on May 3rd, 1913
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Sands School Gymnasium, 1913

Posted on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 by John Wood
On May, 24th, 1913, the George F. Sands school was dedicated and opened for business on Popular street in Cincinnati, Ohio’s West End. Here’s a look at the Gymnasium — outfitted with just about everything in The Narragansett Machine Company catalog. A little over seven decades later, a young John Wood attended this very school — and not a whole lot in the gym had changed! In my day, there were basketball hoops installed over the doorway and on some of the climbing ladders but the flying rings, the climbing poles, the Swedish Bars and some of the balance beams were all still there and in service. I always had a good time in gym class, but was not aware at the time of the historical significance of the facility. The school moved many years ago, but the building remains. It has recently been rehabbed into senior apartments and thankfully they have kept the gym intact.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

1913 Milo Bar-Bell Ad

Posted on Sunday, November 13th, 2016 by John Wood
Check out this ad for the Milo Bar-Bell Company from the December, 1913 issue of Physical Culture Magazine. Back then, strength training was not as popular or understood as it is today, hence advertisements like this one had to be informative as well as compelling. By the way, the demonstrator in the ad is well-known strongman and strength author Ottley R. Coulter.

WHAT IS A BAR-BELL ?

A Bar-Bell is simply a long-handled dumbbell; it can be used for either lifting or developing exercises. In the above picture, the athlete is “up-ending” a Bar-Bell, while at his feet lie a Dumb-bell and Kettle-bells.

WHY IS IT that a man who has been trained with heavy bells can perform feats of strength beyond the combined power of two or three ordinary men? Not alone, because his arms are twice as strong–because his back, hips and legs are FOUR OR FIVE TIMES AS STRONG as the average athlete’s.

There is only one was to develop this phenomenal back and leg strength: and that is, by the use of a Bar-Bell. You cannot do it by practicing one-arm lifts with a short Dumbbell; you cannot do it by going through the old 5-lb. Dumbbell drill with a pair of 25 or 30-lb. Dumbbells: nor can you do it with a pair of Kettle-bells. Kettle-bells are primarily arm and deltoid developers.

In a combination outfit, the Dumbbell and the Kettle-Bell are subsidiary parts–the Bar-Bell is the great developing instrument. It is because they use Bar-Bells that OUR pupils can develop 45″ chests. 16″ biceps, 24″ thighs, etc.

The back and leg muscles are infinitely bigger, stronger and more important that the arm muscles. After training thousands of cases, it is our conviction that the average man needs a Bar-Bell which can be adjusted up to 100 lbs. if he wants proper ALL-ROUND development.

We will be glad to assist and advise anyone in the selection of a combination bell of proper weight.

IN REGARD TO TRAINING

We believe we have the greatest course of training in the world–the BEST system. We have described it in some of our recent advertisements; but we want to say here that no system–however perfect–will suit any and everyone. If YOU buy and outfit and enroll as a pupil with use, we have to adopt our system to your PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL needs.

We can tell you a lot of interesting and instructive facts about body building and strength making; and we can also give you information about the finest line of adjustable combination bells in the world.

Write for our booklets.

THE MILO BAR-BELL CO.
1011 Chestnut Street
PHILADELPHIA, PA.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Josef Grafl

Posted on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 by John Wood

Josef Grafl, the great strongman from Vienna, Austria, was the man to beat in the weightlifting world in the early 20th century… Grafl won championships in 1908, 1909, twice in 1910, 1911 and his last in 1913.

As you might guess by the image above, Grafl possessed immense pressing power. In Vienna, circa 1912, Grafl pressed 220.5 lbs overhead for 18 repetitions. This was not “military” style popular today but an even more strict performance: with his heels together. It was later estimated by strength historian David P. Willoughby that this performance was equivalent to a maximum single of 344 lbs.

Precary Amiable, Card Tearing Champion of The World

Posted on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by John Wood

Precary Amiable, Card Tearing Champion

Precary Amiable, the French strongman, won the 1913 card tearing championship of the world by ripping an astounding 210 cards at once. That’s over four decks! Also, it looks like card tearing certainly “does a body good,” ~ our man is sporting a set of arms that are still very impressive a century later (notably at a body weight of only 150 lbs.)
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Tom Burrows: The King of Clubs

Posted on Friday, July 15th, 2011 by John Wood
Tom Burrows
On April 18th, 1913, the Club Swinging champion Tom Burrows accomplished an incredible feat: he swung a pair of Indian Clubs for 100 hours straight without a rest. He averaged 80 repetitions a minute through the entire affair, a mind-boggling feat of muscular endurance and toughness. That’s a record you sure won’t see challenged any time soon.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.