Here’s a look at the famous Canadian strongman Arthur Dandurand as he supports a 406 lb. Ford engine block on his shoulder. Dandurand was only 5’8″ and 180 pounds but possessed very unusual strength. He was documented as having first accomplished this feat on January 17th, 1930 and could do it any time he was asked. — and perhaps, even more impressivly, no other strongman was ever able to duplicate it! You can read more about Arthur Dandurand in Physical Training Simplified by Mark H. Berry.
Many of the oldtime strongmen were famous for their ability to lift heavy, awkward objects. Their reasons were simple: Not everyone can relate to a loaded barbell… but everyone knows that if you can “lift” a piano, anvil, safe or a cannon on your back you must be pretty damn strong.