The York Bar Bell Co. – 51 North Broad Street, York, PA

Posted on Monday, September 25th, 2017 by John Wood
The year was 1930, and a young fellow named Bob Hoffman, began his oil burner business at 51 North Broad Street, in York, Pennsylvania. In the early days, the bottom floor sold heating equipment and the top floor was devoted to Hoffman’s other passion: weightlifting. Eventually, the barbell business won out and a new chapter in U.S. Weightlifting history was born. At the time of this photograph, the bottom floor was the home office of Strength & Health magazine and the right side of the building was where barbells and dumbbells were packed and shipped. In 1958, the York Barbell Company moved to a new location on North Ridge Avenue.
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.

Young Vic Boff

Posted on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 by John Wood
Vic Boff’s tremendous contributions to the Iron Game stretch far and wide but no doubt his biggest was to endeavor to keep the past alive. In 1983, Vic Boff organized a birthday celebration for Sig Klein. This celebration went over so well that it became an annual event which continues to this day. Thus the Association of Oldetime Barbell and Strongmen (AOBS) was born. As a young man, Vic developed an interest in weight training, calisthenics, boxing and strongman stunts and, as you can see here, he clearly practiced what he preached.

In addition, while rehabbing a shoulder injury, Vic began to study the healing powers of cold therapy and winter bathing. This led him to join the Iceberg Athletic club of New York where he was eventually recognized as “The World’s Greatest Winter Bather.”

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.

Art Levan

Posted on Friday, May 9th, 2014 by John Wood

Art Levan

Besides being a a great Olympic lifter (10x National Champion in the 126 lb. class) Art Levan, of Reading, Pennsylvania, was also a master of several unusual feats of strength as well. Here’s Art hanging by his teeth with a 70-pound kettlebell in each hand.
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.

Spike Howard

Posted on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by John Wood
Edward “Spike” Howard, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, (unsurprisingly) earned his nickname thanks to his ability to bend and break spikes. A former Vaudeville strongman for many years, Howard is shown above breaking a chain with chest expansion. Performing feats of strength was actually not his only specialty: Howard also donated blood well over 1000 times which is also thought to be some kind of record.
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.

Young Bill Good and The Good Dumbbell

Posted on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 by John Wood

A look at the great American weightlifter Bill Good in the midst of harness lifting the equally famous Good Dumbbell. circa 1934. Good, a Reamstown, Pennsylvania, native was a seven-time National weightlifting Champion (1930-1935, 1937) and competed in the 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games. Good liked to celebrate his birthday each year by harness lifting the 2150 lb. Good Dumbbell for as many repetitions as the number of years of his age, a feat he kept up until he was 90.

Bob Jones at the York Picnic

Posted on Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by John Wood

Bob Jones Does His Thing at the York Picnic

Bob Jones (who else?) does a one-arm handstand on a (tipped) rocker at the York Barbell picnic some time in the late 1930’s (probably 1937). The early York picnics were held right behind Bob Hoffman’s house on Lightner’s Hill in North York, Pennsylvania. Hoffman can be seen bent-pressing the large globe barbell in the background in another picture taken the same day HERE.

They say that the York picnics were so popular that cars were parked three quarters of a mile in every direction. Hoffman’s house is still there and you can see it if you know where to look.