The Cincinnati Turnverein Society

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2018 by John Wood
The very first Turner society in America was established in Cincinnati in 1848. They had several different locations over the years but this one, on the corner of Vine Street and East Daniels Street, is near and dear to my heart as it is only a few miles from where I grew up. The building itself is still there and in remarkably good shape. Much of the original architecture in this postcard is still around. Check it out if you are ever in the Short Vine neighborhood.

The most famous Turner from the Cincinnati area was President and Chief Justice of the United States William Howard Taft. In 1909, Cincinnati was also the site of the largest Turner gathering ever held with conservative estimates of 50,000 people in attendance.

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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.

Friedrich Ludwig Jahn

Posted on Monday, April 23rd, 2018 by John Wood
The Father of gymnastics is widely regarded as Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, the German Prussian physical culture pioneer. As a commander in the Military, Jahn was shocked at the poor physical condition of the soldiers during the Napoleonic wars of the early 1800’s. As a result, Jahn devised a system of exercises and games intended to improve strength and stamina.

This gave rise to the Turnverein Movement, or gymnastic societies, which sought not only to build military readiness but also national pride through physical training pursuits.

It was Jahn who devised early models of the gymnastic equipment which are commonly today: the balance beam, horizontal bar, the parallel bars and the vaulting horse.

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.