Arthur Lancaster: The Man With The Grip of Iron

Posted on Monday, February 10th, 2014 by John Wood

Arthur Lancaster, of Brixton, England, desired to do something that had never been accomplished before, and on July, 4th, 1908, he accomplished his goal. It was on that date, at the Crystal Palace (London), that he swung an eight pound blacksmith’s hammer for twelve straight hours. It was supposed to be a contest of endurance against a Frenchman, but the latter did not keep his engagement, so the Englishman began his task alone (albeit, still in front of two judges.)

Lancaster swung the hammer with one hand during meal breaks and resumed two-handed swinging once finished. It was estimated that Lancaster “lifted” over 350 tons over the course of his hammer-swinging session. Unsurprisingly, Lancaster reported that his performance was as much a triumph mentally as physically. Thereafter, he was known as: “The Man With The Grip of Iron.”