Rocky Marciano Stone Lifting at Greenwood Lake

Posted on Monday, January 11th, 2016 by John Wood
One of the famous boxing training “camps” could be found in Greenwood Lake, New York. The list of of great champions trained there for their biggest fights is long and impressive: Joe Louis, Billy Conn, Archie Moore, Sugar Ray Robinson, Floyd Patterson and Rocky Marciano (shown here, lifting stones in preparation for his bout with Harry Matthews on July, 28, 1952.)

Greenwood Lake is a nine-mile finger of water that extends right into New Jersey and offers spartan living and a way to get away from civilization. There were plenty of roads, footpaths and other natural amenities that boxers could take advantage of for their preparation efforts (as you can see above.)

… and, in addition, thanks to the wonder of modern technology, we can  show you the Marciano v. Matthews fight as well:

The King Brothers – Herculean Comedy Athletes!

Posted on Sunday, October 18th, 2015 by John Wood
Edward Traver and Robert Shank were two lads from Schenectady, New York who ran off and joined the Vaudeville circuit as “The King Brothers – Herculean Comedy Athletes!”

The duo performed hand-balancing feats and were featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not. They were at their peak in the teens and 20’s and once even shared the stage with Will Rogers in Atlanta. Unfortunately we’re not sure which of the King brothers is featured in the rare postcard above but all that hand-balancing work has certainly built an impressive pair of arms for this fellow.

Members of the New York Turn Verein

Posted on Thursday, December 11th, 2014 by John Wood

Members of the New York Turn Verein, circa 1902 and a selection of their dumbbells, barbells and Indian clubs. At the time, the New York chapter was one of the largest in the country with over 2200 members.

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
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.

“The Brooklyn Strongboy” Charles Phelan

Posted on Friday, February 21st, 2014 by John Wood
“The Brooklyn Strongboy” Charles Phelan was the American Professional Lightweight Champion and also performed a strongman act for many years at Coney Island and around the New York area. Notice the outstanding show weights: the unusually large kettlebell and the thick-handled globe dumbbell.

Charles Phelan was a protege of Warren Lincoln Travis and eventually taught much of what he knew to Vic Boff.
Phelan told jokes between feats of strength, also billing himself (quite uniquely, I might add) as “The World’s Most Entertaining Strongman.” Phelan only weighed 140 lbs, but could backlift 2500 lbs.