The Brothers Schemansky

Posted on Monday, November 11th, 2019 by John Wood
Here’s an impromptu shot you probably haven’t seen before: the “human barbell” is 215 pound Jerome Schemansky and the lifter is “little brother” Norb who, at the time, tipped the scales at only 200 pounds. This shot was taken at Yacos Gym in Detroit, circa 1947.

Norb gets most of the ink — and rightfully so — with multiple world records and Olympic medals under his belt, but Jerome wasn’t too shabby either, winning the Mr. Michigan bodybuilding title in 1943 and the the North American light-heavyweight lifting title (198 lbs.) in 1944. There was also another Schemansky brother, Dennis, who placed third in the heavyweight class (behind Steve Stanko and Louis Abele) at the 1939 AAU Sr. Nationals with an 805 lb. total. It’s a safe bet that the Schemansky’s could lay claim to “Michigan’s strongest Family.”

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.

Waterman Gymnasium

Posted on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by John Wood

In keeping with the saying Mens sana in corpore sano (A healthy mind in a healthy body) the University of Michigan built some of the finest gymnasia the world had ever seen in the late nineteenth century. The Waterman Gymnasium (pictured right and named for Joshua W. Waterman, a notable Detroit attorney who donated most of the funds) was completed in 1894. The Barbour Gymnasium for women (on left, named for Regent Levi L. Barbour), followed in 1896. The physical director of these facilities was George A. May and the above picture was how both grand buildings looked from the diag, circa 1927. The chem building now sits on the site where these gyms were once located.