Bazin: The Cannon Man

Posted on Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 by John Wood
Bazin, The Cannon Man
If you are interested in true “Oldtime” feats of strength, then late-19th century France was the place to be. Whether at a night club, concert, or street fair if there was a crowd present, it was an opportunity for a strongman to showcase his talents.

This extremely rare poster, dating from 1876 highlights, Bazin, The Cannon Man, whose act must have been a sight to see.  Sure he lifted and juggled heavy weights etc… but notice that not only is Msr. Bazin pictured firing a cannon from his shoulder but walking with strapped to his feet as well! Bazin was also a wrestler, and, ironically enough, defeated by English champion Tom Cannon.

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
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.

William Beattie

Posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 by John Wood

William Beattie lifting two blockweights

“The Scottish Apollo” William Beattie is shown here doing a bent-press with a pair of what are most likely 56-pound block weights. It should be noted that he fist swung them up to that position which is a fantastic feat of grip strength in holding the blocks together.  Beatties was also fond of juggling these weights.

Unsurprisingly, Beattie was one of the many students of William Pullum and won the British Amateur Weightlifting Association (BAWLA) 12 stone Championship in 1929. Beattie went on to perform feats of strength and acrobatics with several circuses.

Block Weights!

Posted on Monday, August 8th, 2011 by John Wood
Strongman Block Weight
Block Weights
The oldtime strongmen lifted just about any weight they could get their hands on. Shown here is a block weight, an obvious precursor to the kettlebell. Block weights (also sometimes referred to as scale weights) were originally used for measurement purposes though eventually many strongmen began to lift them for strength and show.

I suspect that many of the oldtime strongmen noticed these weights sitting backstage at the theaters where they performed (where they were used as ballast to counterweight theatre props etc) and decided to start using them to lift. Block weights are awkward to lift, making movements such as cleans and presses a much bigger challenge, even at comparatively “light” weights. Block weights also make excellent “handles” for pushups and handstands.

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
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.