George Brosius’ Gym

Posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 by John Wood
What a great gym! – This fantastic facility was established by George Brosius, a pioneer gymnastics coach and famous “Turner” in the Milwaukee area. You can read more on Brosius and his amazing story here and here. Gotta love the Indian clubs, climbing ropes, and medicine balls. This pictures dates from about 1900.

Sands School Gymnasium, 1913

Posted on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 by John Wood
On May, 24th, 1913, the George F. Sands school was dedicated and opened for business on Popular street in Cincinnati, Ohio’s West End. Here’s a look at the Gymnasium — outfitted with just about everything in The Narragansett Machine Company catalog. A little over seven decades later, a young John Wood attended this very school — and not a whole lot in the gym had changed! In my day, there were basketball hoops installed over the doorway and on some of the climbing ladders but the flying rings, the climbing poles, the Swedish Bars and some of the balance beams were all still there and in service. I always had a good time in gym class, but was not aware at the time of the historical significance of the facility. The school moved many years ago, but the building remains. It has recently been rehabbed into senior apartments and thankfully they have kept the gym intact.
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
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 West Point Gymnasium, 1895

Posted on Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 by John Wood
In the early 1800’s, the physical education program of the The United States Military Academy was sporadic, and lagged behind other institutions of higher education such as Harvard and Yale. To address this discrepancy, in 1885 West Point hired its first professional physical education instructor, Herman J. Koehler, who revitalized the program and made it one of the finest in the country.

One of Koehler’s major contributions was to secure funding for the building of a new gymnasium which, when completed in August of 1892, was superior to any in the world at the time. The rare shot shown above was how it looked in 1895. Look closely and you’ll see Indian clubs, wall pulleys, climbing ropes, tumbling mats, climbing ladders and many other pieces of classic gymnastic equipment.

Koehler was a member of the famed Frankford Squad.

The Myrtle Street Gymnasium, 1865

Posted on Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 by John Wood

The Myrtle Street Gymnasium, Liverpool

Liverpool Gymnasium
A look at two rare engravings of the front and interior the Myrtle Street Gymnasium in Liverpool, England, which officially opened on November 6th, 1865.
This facility was the finest in the world at the time, and offered training in the British, Swedish, German and American gymnastic systems as well as fencing, rowing, swimming, cycling and other athletic pursuits.

Look closely and you will see climbing ropes and ladders, wall pulleys, barbell and dumbbell lifting, wall pulleys and a variety of other interesting methods of training (including a live horse!)

The “Gymnasiarch” of this facility was Mr. John Hulley, who was one of the co-founders of the Liverpool Athletic Club and who helped organize the first Olympic Festivals. These early athletic contests gave rise to the “Modern” Olympic games.