Joseph Vanderzande, the great Belgian strongman, was a contemporary of Arthur Saxon. Vanderzande is widely recognized as the strand pulling champion of the late 1800’s (note the pair of chest expanders on the platform behind him.) He was said to have been able to “pull” several reps with a 20-strand chest expander with a 297 pound level of resistance.
A look at a German Sport club, circa 1903. As for their equipment, as was the custom with German-style kettlebells, the handles were large and open to enable juggling… the barbells also appear to have thick handles, which encourage grip and forearm development.
The Man in The Gymnasium… unfortunately his name is lost to the sands of time. We do know two things though: he had excellent taste in equipment AND was a snappy dresser. This picture was taken around 1900.
Now THAT is a show that I’d like to see! The Turkish strongman/wrestler Risa Bey incorporated all manner of exciting elements into his act, including teeth-lifting, knife throwing, rock breaking and firing off a live cannon cradled in his arms.
Shown is the famous French physical culturalist Dr. Georges Rouhet and some of his fantastic training equipment. Having been at this for a while now, our conclusion is that the French Strongmen had the best equipment available to train with. Also of note are the French blockweights in the foreground.
A rare look at a French weightlifting club, and their awesome training equipment, circa 1906. One thing is for sure about the French lifters: they certainly had plenty of style. Their equipment is basic: globe barbells, globe dumbbells, block weights, chest expanders etc, but undoubtedly more than enough to get it done. Note the Sandow poster on the back wall. The president, Msr. Gustave Dechelpretre sits in the center.
Think you could get a pretty good workout here? …A unique look at some of the equipment once belonging to Harry Shafran and housed in his great gym. Much of what is shown here was previously owned by Warren Lincoln Travis. Some of this equipment has a very interesting story since the time this picture was taken… part of which will be covered in The Dellinger Files Volume II.
rance was a center of physical training activity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This was due in large part to Professor Edmond Desbonnet who founded his school of physical culture in his home town of Lille, in northern France. Here’s a look the members of the Lille Athletic Club, circa 1901, with some of their classic equipment: globe barbells and dumbbells, chest expanders and blockweights etc. Desbonnet himself is pictured at the far right.