1901 Sandow Grip Dumbbell Poster

Posted on Monday, August 24th, 2015 by John Wood
Sandow’s Grip Dumbbells were one of the earliest pieces of commercial training equipment, and the most popular as well. Here we have a nifty advertising poster for them from 1901 that not many folks have seen before.

Sandow’s Grip Dumb-Bells

Posted on Thursday, December 4th, 2014 by John Wood
Sandow's Grip Dumb-Bells

Back in 1899, the hottest thing going was Eugen Sandow’s Grip Dumb-Bells which consisted of two dumbbell “halves” joined together by a series of springs.

While they were not the first piece of mail order strength equipment, Sandow’s Grip Dumb-Bells were very close — and they were certainly one of the most well-known.

As one followed the suggested workouts, they could build their forearm strength by keeping the two halves “crushed” together as they trained the rest of their body through various other movements.

Also, according to several of the advertisements, regular training with these dumbbells also improved not only strength but will power and concentration as well.

Sandow’s Grip Dumb-Bells came in a variety of styles and types — ranging from “Basic Black” to nickel-plated models with leather handles. There were also different resistance levels for “Gents” men, women, youths and children. This ad is from 1907.

Double Your Strength Almost Overnight!

Posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2014 by John Wood

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.

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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.