The Iron Shoe exerciser was a great oldtime piece of training equipment which has roots going back pretty far into strength history. As you may notice by the design, it is “horse shoe” shaped — which is meant to mimic an actual horse shoe, the bending of which was a great oldtime feat and a mark of great strength. The “iron Shoe” provided a method of progressive resistance in some of the positions needed for horseshoe bending and trained the body, especially the grip and forearms in a very unique manner. This particular Iron shoe was sold by George F. Jowett.
As far as Oldtime Strongmen go, few were more impressive than “The Amazing Samson” Alexander Zass. Bending and breaking nails… twisting horse shoes …driving nails by hand… supporting feats… scrolling steel… breaking chains… teeth lifting… carrying horses or pianos on his back… Samson did it all. Interestingly, Zass attributed much of his strength and development to isometric training.