Abner Brady’s Washington Gymnasium

Posted on Monday, April 28th, 2014 by John Wood

Abner Brady's Washington Gymnasium

One of the very first gyms in the United States was opened by Abner Brady in 1865: “The Washington Gymnasium” in Washington D.C. (right on Louisiana Avenue and within sight of the U.S. Capitol) featured a great variety of exercise opportunities. The exercising room was 40 feet by 108 feet and featured all manner of manly pursuits: look closely and you’ll see dumbbell lifting, rope climbing, gymnastics, calisthenics, pulley weights, fencing, wrestling and boxing (among others.)

According to Brady’s advertising: “[This Gymnasium is especially adapted and designed] to the persons of sedentary habits, and those whose occupation and pursuits confine them to the office, or deprive them of proper physical exercise.”

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