Arthur Jones’ African Elephant Show

Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2018 by John Wood
Not many people know this but before Arthur Jones became well-known as “Mr. Nautilus,” he had many adventures capturing, trading, and filming wild animals (especially Elephants) all over Africa. He subsequently made appearances throughout the United State promoting his wild animal shows, most notably “Wild Cargo.” Here is a newspaper advertisement from the early 1960’s for one of Arthur’s appearances in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Note the involvement of Inge Topperwien who would go on to play an integral role in the founding of Nautilus (as well as eventually become Arthur’s wife.)

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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 Cincinnati Turnverein Society

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2018 by John Wood
The very first Turner society in America was established in Cincinnati in 1848. They had several different locations over the years but this one, on the corner of Vine Street and East Daniels Street, is near and dear to my heart as it is only a few miles from where I grew up. The building itself is still there and in remarkably good shape. Much of the original architecture in this postcard is still around. Check it out if you are ever in the Short Vine neighborhood.

The most famous Turner from the Cincinnati area was President and Chief Justice of the United States William Howard Taft. In 1909, Cincinnati was also the site of the largest Turner gathering ever held with conservative estimates of 50,000 people in attendance.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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.

Nautilus Leverage Machines

Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2015 by John Wood
>When most people think of Nautilus Machines they picture cams and weight stacks, which were certainly the case… But later on, Nautilus came out with a series of leverage pieces with the look of machines yet the feel of free weights. Pictured here is Cincinnati Bengals All-Pro Linebacker Reggie Williams demonstrating the shrug/row combo piece. This photograph was taken in the world famous “Kong Room” and if you were ever there, you sure never forgot it.

“Little Samson”

Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2014 by John Wood

Little Samson

Pete Reynolds performed for many years on the Vaudeville and night club circuit as Little Samson – The World’s Strongest Small Man. Standing only five feet tall and weighing 107 pounds, he certainly fit the bill, among other feats, he ripped phone books in half… then quarters… then eighths! You won’t find many heavy weights who could accomplish such a feat. Samson attributed his great strength to his healthy diet, and after he retired from the road, opened a health food store in Cincinnati, Ohio.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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.

Henry Holtgrewe: The Cincinnati Strongman

Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2013 by John Wood

Henry Holtgrewe: The Cincinnati Strongman

Henry Holtgrewe was born in Hanover, Germany in 1862 but came to live in the United States at an early age. He settled in Cincinnati, where he ran a saloon in the Over-The-Rhine area of the city, near down town. In his spare time, he delighted in performing feats of strength, especially lifting barbells and dumbbells with thick handles — which not only confounded smaller-handed competition, but also allowed Henry Holtgrewe to build a tremendous 15-1/2 inch forearm in the process.

Holtgrewe also out “pressed” the great Louis Cyr with a single-arm lift of 287 pounds. It was said that each time Eugen Sandow performed in Cincinnati, Holtgrewe challenged to a lifting contest — and each time Sandow refused.

In 1904, Holtgrewe backlifted two opposing baseball teams at Redlands Field in Cincinnati. The combined weight was estimated at 4103 pounds easily placing him among the strongest backlifters of all time.

Pulling a Fire Truck, Mighty Atom Style

Posted on Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 by John Wood

The Mighty Atom Pulls a Fire Truck with his hair.

“The Mighty Atom” Joe Greenstein had unusually strong hair and frequently demonstrated this fact by using it to lift or pull very heavy objects. Shown here, The Atom pulls a fire truck loaded with people down the street sometime in the late 1920s. In case you are keeping score at home, the fire truck was an Ahrens-Fox (famously made in Cincinnati, Ohio) — you can tell by the large distinctive chrome sphere at the front which housed part of the pumping mechanism.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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.