One of the most interesting (and, in my opinion, most fun) aspects of strength history is the old advertisements. There is much to be learned by those in the same business today who might take the time to study them. Here’s a classic ad circa 1928 from Professor Henry W. Titus, one of the early mail order muscle pioneers. You can see why someone would want to save up their paper route money to send away for this course. You even get a nifty medal to pin to your jacket when you completed it!
Courses like this one are simple and might even be considered crude by today’s standards but often the “after” results beat much of what we see in today’s gyms, even with infinitely more equipment and access to information.