In the act, Sandow played the proverbial “David” initially assailed by the massive Goliath but triumphing in the end and actually lifting his foe and a large cannon with one finger. Their act concluded with Sandow supporting on a board, on his chest and knees, a total weight of 2400 pounds.
Sensing potential threats invading from the Alpine border, back in the late 1800’s, the French Military formed a special brigade devoted specifically to mountain warfare Their cannon were often transported by mules, yet there were many places where the mules were not able to travel so these soldiers did what they had to do in order to be prepared, and that often meant putting their cannons on their backs and carrying them themselves.
As these kinds of things often do, it became a sense of pride to see who could lift the heaviest cannon. One of the highest compliments that could be said for a member of these battalions was that “he can do the work of two (or three) mules.” The cannon that the gentleman above is shown carrying was listed as weighing 280 kg — that’s over 600 pounds!
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.