Joe Ponder

Posted on Monday, December 25th, 2017 by John Wood
Joe Ponder, from Love Valley, North Carolina, was a truck driver who injured his neck in an accident in 1970. As a part of his rehab, his doctor recommended strengthening his neck muscles and Ponder did so by lifting a bucket with a towel wrapped around the handle clenched in his teeth. Each day he added a little more water to the bucket until it became full.

Joe began to lift other heavy objects with the power of his teeth and jaws and it took him around the world: with his teeth, he lifted giant pumpkins, livestock, Miss Nude America and Miss Nude World (at the same time!) and towed a fully loaded tractor trailer. Ponder made it into Ripley’s Believe it or not, The Guinness Book of World Record, performed on the David Letterman Show and received a fitness award from President Jimmy Carter. Once Joe also smashed some concrete blocks while swinging a 20pound sledge hammer clenched in his teeth! The pumpkin above weighed “only” 343 lbs, he easily lifted one over 600 lbs.

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.

Sailor Jim White – Champion Strongman of the Navy

Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2012 by John Wood

Sailor Jim White - Champion Strongman of the Navy

Sailor Jim White “The Champion Strongman of the Navy” pulls a loaded bus down the streets of Washington D.C. with his teeth on October 6th, 1921. White accomplished this prodigious feat to generate awareness and money for unemployed servicemen and it was not the first time he did so for a cause. He also used his great strength to sell war bonds, raise money for the Red Cross and recruit for the Navy as well.

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.

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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 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.