The Narragansett Machine Company Adjustable Barbell Set

Posted on Sunday, March 30th, 2014 by John Wood

A look at an adjustable barbell Set from the Narragansett Machine Company, of Providence, Rhode Island, circa 1910 or so. Each plate weighs 5 pounds and the bar weighed ten pounds so when fully loaded, this set weighed 120 pounds in total which makes it just about perfect for home use. This set also featured something that I have never seen before or since: latches on the inner plates to keep the barbell plates in place.

Also of note is that fact that barbell plates and equipment from just about every other equipment company, including those who were older, are fairly “common” in comparison to this set. I know of no one who has even seen a single Narragansett Barbell or plate in the flesh, let alone owned one. If you should come across any, please let us know.

Zander Machines

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 by John Wood

Zander Machines

Gustav Zander was a Swedish physician who created over 70 different exercises “machines” at the turn of the century. Zander’s machines were very meticulously designed with a very intricate system of pulleys, pendulums and counter-balances which accounted for the leverages of the human body.

Each machine developed a particular area of the body. The machine shown above was for training forearm extension.

Also, despite their obvious similarities in appearance, Arthur Jones had no prior knowledge of Gustav Zander or his machines when he designed the Nautilus Machines. (Which actually function quite a bit differently.)

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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 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.