Kodi Rammurthy Naidu “The Indian Hercules” was a renowned strongman from Veeraghattam. India — a small town, a short distance from Vizianagram in the Madras Presidency. Like many other strongmen, he was a sickly youth, having been stricken with asthma as a young man. Naidu turned to physical training to cure himself and keep right on building from there. He performed many amazing and unusual feats — lifting four men by means of a chain over his shoulder, allowing heavy wagons to drive over his body, “the human link” — stopping two motor cars being driven in opposite directions, chain breaking, etc., etc. His most remarkable feat, however, and the one that rightfully earned his nickname, was to support a four-ton elephant standing on his chest, shown above. It was said that Naidu was able tyo concentrate all his life forces — as he called them — at one or more points in is body so that great weight imposed upon them will not crush his bones or strain his muscles.
The Mighty Young Apollo — A.K.A. Paul Anderson from Melbourne, Australia performed many unusual feats during his colorful career. He was fond of the Human Link Feat, letting cars and trucks run over him, and pulling railroad cars with his teeth. He once let an eight ton elephant stand on his chest! One of his feats — “The Bridge of Death” involved taking a wrestler’s bridge position whilst two men with heavy sledge hammers smashed a piece of granite on his chest, oh, and a hunting knife was placed on the ground below him with the blade at his heart! He made it through though, the Mighty Young Apollo actually was still performing amazing feats into his 80’s. Here he is bending a steel bar in his teeth.
In August of 1950, Milo Steinborn attended the Chicago fair and the AAU Mid-States Weightlifting championships which was going on as a featured attraction during the Chicago fair. During a break in the action, they held an impromptu elephant lifting contest. None of the other lifters could budge “Tommy” an 800-pound baby elephant but Milo, 57 years old and still wearing his Sunday best, stepped in and gave him a little ride. (Tommy doesn’t seem to happy about it, though.) FYI, Norb Schemansky won the Mid-States heavyweight lifting title with a 910 lb. total and Jim Park won the Mr. Central U.S.A bodybuilding contest, also held that day.