Bending bars, spikes and nails has always been a traditional Oldtime Strongman feat, not only do many people find it incredibly impressive but merely doing it will build tremendous strength throughout the entire body.
You can tell that rectangular stock (like the spike above) was actually hand bent by the shape. If a piece of steel was truly hand bent, it will bend on the angle, not the flat edge.
Brown could also lift a car from the side and would let a motorcycle drive over his neck as a part of his act…he is thought to be the first man to pull a bus with his teeth. Brown was also clearly a big fan of chest expanders.
White became the Navy’s official strongman while serving aboard the battleship U.S.S. Texas in 1917. His repertoire was not limited to stunts of jaw and neck strength, “Sailor” also was a champion nail bender and was featured in “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” many times over.