Johnny Silvi was a professional wrestler from Canada who, in order to drum up interest for his matches, used to pull a call down the street in front of the arena with his teeth. As his impressive neck development would indicate, clearly he made a habit of this practice. Above, Silvi pulls a 1949 Ford Tudor as onlookers are amazed.
Here we have Mr. Theodore Lang of Macassar, Dutch Indies, showing his stuff circa 1930. It was said that two buddies and another 160 pounds of fully-loaded barbell totaled around 400 pounds which he held in a top-of-the-head bridge — not bad!
Jean Baillargeon was one of famed Brothers Baillargeon, (and perhaps the strongest of them all, which is really saying something.) Looks to be about 230 pounds on the bar. It is unclear whether he pulled the weight over, bounced it off his belly or chest, or if the barbell was handed to him, but either way, simply holding this amount of weight in this position (all of it supported by the neck musculature) is VERY impressive. Jean was also a professional wrestler so the ability to bridge with a substantial amount of weight I’m sure came in very handy.
The oldtime boxers seem to “get” why neck strength is important a lot more-so than they do today. Here, Mexican boxer, Ignacio “The Pineapple Bomb” Pina does a highly underrated exercise for building neck strength: a simple head stand. This picture was taken in 1960 at Joe Bloom’s gym in London in preparation for his match with Freddie Gilroy. (The Pineapple Bomb went on to win on points after 10 rounds in what was considered a major upset.)
Another look at Signor Lawanda: The Iron jawed Man. The top picture shows Lawanda at 20 years old and his neck and jaw development is quite dramatic.