The Mighty Young Apollo — A.K.A. Paul Anderson from Melbourne, Australia performed many unusual feats during his colorful career. He was fond of the Human Link Feat, letting cars and trucks run over him, and pulling railroad cars with his teeth. He once let an eight ton elephant stand on his chest! One of his feats — “The Bridge of Death” involved taking a wrestler’s bridge position whilst two men with heavy sledge hammers smashed a piece of granite on his chest, oh, and a hunting knife was placed on the ground below him with the blade at his heart! He made it through though, the Mighty Young Apollo actually was still performing amazing feats into his 80’s. Here he is bending a steel bar in his teeth.
Many strongmen called themselves “Samson” but Ben Darwin took it literally. Like the biblical Samson, Ben Darwin’s strength came from his hair – in this case, pulling a loaded seven passenger Sedan over 100 feet. This feat was accomplished in September of 1945. This worked out pretty well with Darwin’s other hobby.
Supporting feats were quite popular with many of the Oldtime strongmen since some truly impressive weights could be lifted. Here’s the Australian strongman Don Athaldo supporting a three-quarter ton car on his legs and arms. This took place on December 12, 1931 in New South Wales.
There has been a long tradition of Canadian Strongmen, one that you probably haven’t heard of is Gaston Heon of Quebec. Heon performed standard feats such as phone book tearing, the human link and having a large rock broken on his chest with a sledge hammer… but he also performed several unusual — and somewhat dangerous — feats, such as allowing himself to be run over by a car traveling 40 miles per hour(!) and this backlift/support of a 3000 pound automobile.
One of Henry “Milo” Steinborn’s greatest strength feats was to act as a “human bridge” supporting a heavy frame while a automobile drove over it. It is estimated that between the frame and the car, Milo was supporting a combined weight of over 5000 pounds ~ talk about ligament strength!