The Spalding Semi-Circle Strength Developer

Posted on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 by John Wood
Believe it or not, strength “machines” have a history that goes back even further than barbells and dumbbells. This “Semi-Circle Strength Developer” was manufactured by Spalding in the late 1890’s. This was actually a fairly common style of machine and several different companies had their own version.
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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.

The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by John Wood

We recommend >>> Gray Hair and Black Iron

George Eiferman – Chest Development

Posted on Saturday, April 25th, 2015 by John Wood
Back in the old days, “chest development” meant chest and ribcage expansion, not just bigger pecs.

Here’s a look at George Eiferman, a classic bodybuilder, who was famous for his chest development, on the cover of the February, 1948 Strength and Health Magazine.

Eiferman won the AAU Mr. America, AAU Mr. California and IFBB Mr. Universe titles.

In this picture Eiferman weighed around 190 pounds. You can tell that ribcage and chest expansion contributes greatly to the “look” of strength and power.

Professor James Harrison and his War Clubs

Posted on Friday, November 29th, 2013 by John Wood

Professor James Harrison

“… We learn that Mr. Harrison first began to use the clubs three years ago, at which time his muscular development was not regarded as being very great, his measurements being: round the chest 37-1/2 inches, round the upper arm 13-7-8ths inches, and round the forearm 13-1/4 inches.

The clubs with which Mr. Harrison commenced weighed about seven pounds each; he has advanced progressively until he can now wield with perfect ease two clubs. each weighing 37 pounds, and his heaviest weighing 47 pounds.
The effects of this exercise on the wielder’s measurements are as follows: round the chest 42-1/2 inches, the upper arm 15 inches, and the forearm 14 inches.

At the same time, his shoulders have increased immensely, and the muscles of his mid-section which were weak when he first used the clubs, are now well-developed and powerful. In short, all the muscles of the trunk have been improved by this exercise.”

Professor James Harrison
As Featured in The Illustrated London News
August 14th, 1852

Professor Harrison of London was a well-known gymnastics and physical culture teacher who was honored by Queen Victoria for his physical prowess. It was watching Professor Harrison expertly swing his heavy “war clubs” which inspired Sim Kehoe to bring club swinging back to America and promote it on a wide scale.