1928 Milo Barbell Advertisement, Featuring Al Manger

Posted on Friday, June 13th, 2014 by John Wood

1928 Milo Barbell Advertisement, Featuring Al Manger

Here’s an interesting one: this 1928 Milo Barbell advertisement features Mr. Al Manger, who built himself up from “a bag of bones” into a weightlifting champion with the power of sensible physical training and a Milo weight set. At the age of 21, Manger weighed only 97 pounds, and within a year of barbell training, had added 26 pounds of solid muscle.

Manger kept at it, and went on to win three national lifting championships, one in the 181 lb. class in 1929 and two light-heavyweight crowns in 1930 and 1932. Manger finished fifth with a 315 kg. total at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic games. Manger also won regional championships in the shot put and weight throwing.

…Pretty good for a skinny kid from Baltimore.

If you would like to learn about the specific types of training that helped Manger build his strength, you’ll find it in The Alan Calvert Collection.

The 1932 Olympic Weightlifting Lightweight Class

Posted on Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by John Wood

A look at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic games weightlifting Lightweight Class. From right to left (also in order of final standings): Raymond Suvigny of France (287.5 kg. total, also an Olympic record), Hans Wolpert of Germany (282.5 kg. total), Tony Terlazzo of the United States (280 kg. total), Helmut Schafer of Germany (267.5 kg total), Attilia Bescape of Italy (262.5 kg. total) and Richard Bachtell of the United States (252.5 kg. total).

Young Bill Good and The Good Dumbbell

Posted on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 by John Wood
A look at the great American weightlifter Bill Good in the midst of harness lifting the equally famous Good Dumbbell. circa 1934. Good, a Reamstown, Pennsylvania, native was a seven-time National weightlifting Champion (1930-1935, 1937) and competed in the 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games. Good liked to celebrate his birthday each year by harness lifting the 2150 lb. Good Dumbbell for as many repetitions as the number of years of his age, a feat he kept up until he was 90.

George Roth

Posted on Monday, February 10th, 2014 by John Wood

George Roth

George Roth, from east Hollywood, California, (and eventual USC grad, class of ’42) managed to accomplish a feat which will never again be equaled: at the 1932 Los Angeles games, he won an Olympic gold medal in the sport of Indian club swinging. Club swinging, which was part of the gymnastics program at the time, has not appeared in the Olympic games since then.

Also in the probably-won’t-see-this-again department, Roth, after accepting his gold medal in front of 60,000 people, hitchhiked home.

Philip Erenberg and William Kuhlemeier, also both of the USA, finished with the Silver and Bronze medals respectively. Francisco José Álvarez, of Mexico, finished fourth.

Karl Hipfinger

Posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 by John Wood

Karl Hipfinger

Karl Hipfinger, the Austrian weightlifter and bronze medalist in the Middleweight class at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games, is shown here completing what is probably a 1-arm snatch with around 145 pounds.  Not bad considering that is almost bodyweight.

Jaroslav Skobla

Posted on Friday, November 30th, 2012 by John Wood

Jaroslav Skolba

Jaroslav Skobla, the great Czechoslovakian weightlifter, won the Gold Medal in the heavyweight class at the 1932 Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles where his total was 380 kg: Skobla won Bronze at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics with a 357.5 kg total.

1932 Olympic Weightlifting Event Ticket Stub

Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2012 by John Wood
Here’s a true piece of Olympic Weightlifting History: a ticket stub from the lifting finals of the 1932 Summer Games held in Los Angeles, California.

If you had one of these in your back pocket on July, 31st, 1932 you would have gotten to see Raymond Suvigny of France set the Olympic record in the Featherweight class with a 287.5 kg total, the great German lifter Rudolf Ismayr take the Gold in the middleweight class with a 345.0 kg total (also an Olympic record) and Jaroslav Skobla, the Czechoslovakian champion take the Gold in the heavyweights with a 380 kg total.

The William J. Herrmann Institute of Physical Culture

Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 by John Wood
Herrmann's Gym
William J. Herrmann was a very knowledgeable physical culturist who taugh and heavily influenced Alan Calvert (in fact, Calvert’s classic book “Super Strength” is dedicated to him.)

Herrmann’s gym, once located at 1325 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was one of the popular hangouts for many of the strength stars of the early 20th century, most notably Sig Klein and Milo Steinborn, who performed a number of strength feats there. Sandow trained at Herrmann’s place whenever he visited the US. At Hermann’s, classes were taught in boxing, wrestling, fencing, body-building, calisthenics, Indian Clubs, gymnastics and acrobatics.

This picture was taken in 1931 and shows Milo Steinborn getting in a quick workout on the newly added open-air section of the gym (used for hand ball and training in the fresh air and sun shine, among other pursuits.) Herrmann’s son (also named William) won the bronze medal in tumbling at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Rudolf Ismayr

Posted on Friday, April 13th, 2012 by John Wood

Rudolf Ismayr

Rudolf Ismayr, seen here in mid-clean with what looks like to be about 265 pounds, won the Gold Medal at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California where he totaled 345 kg in the Middleweight class. Four years later, Ismayr was chosen to read the Olympic Oath at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany (at which he took the Silver Medal with a 352.5 kg total.)

Strength and Health Magazine: Volume 1, Issue 1

Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 by John Wood

Strength and Health issues number one, Wally Zagurski cover

Just in case you ever need to know who was on the cover of the very first issue of Strength and Health magazine, the answer is Walter “Wally” Zagurski. This issue hit the scene in December of 1932. Starting a magazine in the teeth of the Great Depression was quite an ambitious undertaking for Bob Hoffman, something which will be covered in great detail in the second volume of The Dellinger Files.

Zagurski was an original member of the “York Gang” who lifted back when it was called the “York Oil Burner Athletic Club.” He competed in the 1932 Olympics, won the 1933 Sr. National Weightlifting title at 165 pounds and was a very good all-around strength athlete.