The Swedish Bars

Posted on Sunday, August 19th, 2012 by John Wood

The Swedish Bars

You have no doubt seen these along the walls in Classic Gyms but didn’t know what they were – so now you do. The Swedish Bars (also called Stall Bars or Gymnastic Bars) were created by the Swedish physical training pioneer Pehr Henrik Ling back in the 1800’s (a derivation of the climbing ladder).

They soon became a standard piece of gymnastic training equipment in physical culture gymnasiums, YMCAs and especially in the military. The Swedish Bars are used to build flexibility as well as to perform a variety of exercises, most notably abdominal work by hanging from them and performing leg lifts, etc..

The Yale Gymnasium

Posted on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 by John Wood

The Yale Gymnasium

In keeping with the concept of ‘Mens sana in corpore sano” (A sound mind in a healthy body), at the turn of the last century, the Ivy League schools were centers for physical education in addition to academic pursuits.  Here’s a rare look at the interior of the Yale University Gymnasium, circa 1901.

This grand facility was located at 55 Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut and was under the direction of Mr. William Gilbert Anderson, a famous physical education teacher and author.

Hemenway Gymnasium

Posted on Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 by John Wood
Hemenway Gymnasium
he original Hemenway Gymnasium was the finest physical education facility ever created. It contained every manner of physical training equipment: climbing ladders, tumbling mats, climbing ropes, flying rings, barbells, dumbbells, indian clubs, medicine balls… even early strength building “machines” (which you may be able to see on the left if you look closely.)

There was a running track, handball courts and rooms for fencing, wrestling, boxing and any other imaginable physical activity. At the head of this fantastic facility was Dudley Allen Sargent, who virtually founded the discipline of physical education.