Ernest Cadine

Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2018 by John Wood
Another great shot of the champion French Weight lifter Ernest Cadine at the conclusion of a heavy one-arm snatch. Even though the quality of this old picture is not perfect, Cadine’s incredible muscle density is evident.

It’s not hard to see why he won the gold medal at the 1920 Olympic Games, likely around the same time this picture was taken.

Note the cannon on the wall behind him. Yes, it was used specifically for lifting purposes.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Felice Napoli

Posted on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 by John Wood
One of the earliest of the Oldtime Strongmen, Felice Napoli of Italy was performing incredible feats of strength in Wallshlager’s Circus in the 1850’s. Napoli dressed as the mythical Hercules as he performed and certainly lived up to it: Napoli’s act consisted of his having a cannon shot off while held on his shoulders, bending iron bars, lifting heavy weights while hanging upside down from a trapeze, The Tomb of Hercules, and performing feats while hanging on a vertically suspended rope, a type of feat known as “The Spanish Web’. Plus, he had an excellent goatee.

John Holtum: The Cannon-Ball King

Posted on Monday, December 25th, 2017 by John Wood
John Holtum, originally of Denmark, was aptly known as “The Cannon-ball King” from his act where he actually did catch a cannon ball fired from a real cannon. This took a bit of practice though, he had a couple fingers blown off the first few times he tried it. After catching the cannon-ball, Holtum would once again load the projectile into the cannon and hit a target some yards away, showing everything was on the level. It was said that the cannon he used was a relic from the Crimenan War.

In addition to his cannon-ball catching feat, Holtum’s performance also consisted of various strength feats which usually involved either lifting, balancing or juggling cannon balls. Remarkably, Holtum retired from the cannon-ball catching business on his own terms without serious injury, and later partnered with his brother Fred to become successful wine merchants.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Henri Toch – “The Cannon Man”

Posted on Sunday, October 8th, 2017 by John Wood
Henri Toch was a Belgian strongman in the late 1800’s who was billed as “L’Homme Canon” or “The Cannon Man.” It was with pretty good reason, his unique performance included the incredible strength feat of holding 365 Kilogram Cannon on his shoulders while it fired. Toch met an unfortunate end in 1890 when when a cannon on his shoulder was accidentally mis-loaded with powder and blew up.

Risa Bey, The Turkish Strongman

Posted on Saturday, December 8th, 2012 by John Wood

Risa Bey, The Turkish Strongman

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.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Frank “Cannonball” Richards

Posted on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 by John Wood

Frank 'Cannonball' Richards taking a sledge hammer blow to the midsection

Frank “Cannonball” Richards isn’t a household name but I’m sure you have definitely seen him before… he got his name by having a 104 pound cannonball fired into his gut on a regular basis (we’ll cover that in another post.)

You may have seen “Cannonball” Richards’ picture on the cover of the Van Halen “III” CD, or you may have caught him spoofed in an episode of The Simpsons, or maybe you have even seen the famous footage as it has been used in several commercials over the years, either way “Cannonball” Richards will go down in history as the man with the world’s hardest stomach.

Here he takes a sledge hammer blow to the midsection without so much as a wince.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.