York Aristocrat Dumbbell Set

Posted on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by John Wood

A look at a York Aristocrat Dumbbell Set from 1955 or so. These were patterned after George Jowett’s dumbbells from a generation before. There is something to be said for a “personal” dumbbell set. You can get a surprisingly good workout with only what is pictured here ~ and many people certainly did!
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.

Strongman Wrist Straps

Posted on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 by John Wood

Strongman Wrist Straps

If you are going to run off to the circus and be a strongman, you also have to look the part. In addition to barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells you could also get these nifty wrist straps from The Milo Barbell Company. Of course, these wrist straps also came free with a subscription to STRENGTH magazine, which sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
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 Composition Barbell Company

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

The Composition Barbell Company

What do we know about the Composition Barbell Company? Pretty much nothing other than this advertisement from a 1914 Physical Culture magazine. In fact, I’ve never seen or heard of this company or their equipment otherwise. Also, before getting in a tizzy about the 6 cents per pound price tag on their weights, it should be understood that this equals $1.38 in today’s dollars when adjusting for inflation. I’m not at all surprised to hear this, given the time and effort that goes into producing quality equipment.

George Brosius and The Frankfurt Squad

Posted on Friday, May 11th, 2012 by John Wood

George Brosius and his Frankfurt Squad

George Brosius (far right) is shown here with his famous “Frankfurt Squad.” This seven member team was composed of the most talented individuals from the Milwaukee Turnverein of which Brosius was the long time teacher.

Against thousands of the best athletes that Europe had to offer, Brosius’ team shocked the world in 1880 by winning five out of twenty-two prizes at the international gymnastic competition held at Frankfurt, Germany. They also took first place in a separate German wrestling competition.

From left to right: Hermann J. Koehler(2nd prize, also Brosius’ nephew, FYI) , Anton Schaefer (4th prize), Friedrich Kasten, Carl Paul (21st prize), Wilhelm Lachenmaier, Otto Wagner (3rd prize), Carl Mueller (5th prize), George Brosius (director)

Also of note is the bust of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn looking down from above.

Aaron Molyneaux Hewlett

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2011 by John Wood

Aaron Molyneaux Hewlett

Aaron Molyneaux Hewlett was the first African American on the Harvard University staff and the director and curator of the Harvard Gymnasium from 1859 to 1871. He also taught gymnastics, boxing and the use of dumbbells.

Hewlett is pictured here with the tools of his craft: boxing gloves, Indian Clubs, Dumbbells, medicine balls and the wooden wand. It should also be known that this picture represents the very first time a medicine ball was photographed in the US (taken around 1860). Interestingly, at the time most physical culture figures generally recommended very light apparatus work but Hewlett appeared to favor much heavier clubs and dumbbells. Also of note are those pretty nifty “dumbbell clubs” on the left.

Two other items of interest about Mr. Molyneaux: His daughter, Virginia married Frederick Douglass. In 1900, his son, E.M. Hewlett, became the first African American lawyer to win a case before the Supreme Court of the United States (Carter vs. Texas).