The Mighty Atom: Nail Biting

Posted on Tuesday, December 26th, 2017 by John Wood
The Mighty Atom draws a crowd while biting a nail in half. Among the onlookers are Bob Hoffman, Dick Bachtell on the bottom left and John Grimek on the lower right. Bob Hoffman listed this feat among the greatest strength feats he had ever witnessed.
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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.

Bill Pearl Strongman Bodybuilder

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2016 by John Wood

Bill Pearl is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, having won many different bodybuilding titles over his colorful career. Something you may not realize though is that Bill also began performing traditional feats of strength such as license plate ripping (pictured), chain breaking, spike bending, card tearing and even Nail Driving because he “felt that he should BE as strong as he looked.” I don’t think we’ll see his ilk again any time soon.
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.

Dennis Rogers’ Card Notching

Posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by John Wood

Tearing a deck of playing cards is one of the all-time classic feats of strength… there have always been whispers that some strongmen had such fearsome fingers that they could “notch” a quarter-sized hole out of a deck… in fact, many people said it was impossible. Dennis Rogers, however, came along and silenced all the doubters by accomplishing the feat. … and not only that, he makes it look easy.

Siegmund Breitbart Newspaper Clipping

Posted on Saturday, January 26th, 2013 by John Wood
Siegmund Breitbart Newspaper Clipping

Siegmund Breitbart toured the United States in the 1920’s, performing feats of strength AND amazing crowds wherever he went.

Here’s a clipping from the Chicago News, October 22nd, 1923, showing Breitbart demonstrating his nail driving ability — pounding a nail through a one-inch thick oak board with nothing but his bare hand.

Nail Driving is one of the classical strongman feats, one that not only wows ’em every time but also one that builds tremendous strength in the shoulder and upper body. Several “oldtime” boxers actually practiced nail driving in order to build striking power.

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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.

Paul Anderson, The Nail Driver

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 by John Wood
Paul Anderson The Nail Driver
Paul Anderson accomplished many things in his life including an Olympic Gold Medal and World Records in just about every lift he tried… but I bet you didn’t know he was also an expert nail driver too… When he traveled around for speaking engagements, Big Paul figured the quickest way to get an audience’s attention was to perform an unusual feat of strength — and a man driving a nail through a wooden board with his bare hand sure fits the bill! Other great nail driving strongmen include Alexander ‘Amazing Samson’ Zass, Siegmund Breitbart, Dennis Rogers, and The Mighty Atom.

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.
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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.

Sebastian Miller: The Stone Breaker

Posted on Monday, February 6th, 2012 by John Wood

A strongman has turned up in Philadelphia. He calls himself Sebastian Miller and a distinguished gathering of physicians and Professors witnessed some of his feats of strength in the Pennsylvania hospital a day ago.

Miller stripped to the waist in order that the physicians might see the workings of his gigantic muscles, and he stepped to a light pine table on which were placed several cobblestones.

A large stone was held in place and Miller, giving three powerful swings with his right arm, brought his fist down on the stone.

The first blow cracked it, the second broke it, and the third shattered it into bits.
In doing this, Miller wrapped a piece of cloth around his hand to protect it from being cut.

But Miller’s strength is not all in his arms. With a harness he has raised 3500 pounds and with his hands he can lift 1800 pounds. With three successive blows of his fist he has broken a block of Quincy granite 5 feet long, 4 feet broad and 6 inches thick.

— From The Cambridge (Ohio) Jeffersonian,  dated January 3, 1899

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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.

A Quarter-Sized Notch

Posted on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 by John Wood

Paul Von Boeckman could rip a quarter-sized chunk out of a deck of cards

If you want to perform amazing strength feats, then having super strong hands is a must… It’s impressive to be able to rip a deck of cards in half, but the great Texas strongman Paul Von Boeckmann took it a step further by ripping this quarter-sized chunk out of a 52-card deck. For obvious reasons, this type of feat is referred to as “card notching.” Von Boeckman could also tear a deck of cards into eighths.
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.

H.E. Mann

Posted on Sunday, October 9th, 2011 by John Wood

Robert Edward “H.E” Mann, of Germantown, Tennessee, followed in the footsteps of Milo of Crotona… He began with a 35-pound Jersey bull calf and lifted it daily. A year later, the bull weighed in at over 500 pounds. The animal kept growing and Mann kept training — eventually the bull weighed over 800 pounds, and Mann was able to carry it 60 yards on his back.

Galen Gough

Posted on Friday, September 16th, 2011 by John Wood

Billed as “The World’s Miracle Strongman,” Galen Gough from Howard”s Grove, Kentucky certainly lived up to his title. Gough was terribly injured while serving in World War I, but built himself back to health and strength through physical training. His results were so dramatic that a career as a performing strongman soon followed.

Gough was one of the very first (if not the first)  strongman to impress crowds by ripping phone books in half.

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.