Pierre Gasnier: The French Hercules

Posted on Friday, December 9th, 2016 by John Wood

Pierre Gasnier was the quintessential Oldtime Strongman: BIlled as the “French Hercules,” He performed feats of strength for the Barnum and Bailey circus in the late 1890’s: tearing decks of cards, bending horseshoes, breaking chains, and lifting his special “challenge weight” globe dumbbell shown here.

The dumbbell had a handle of 2″ in diameter and weighs 236 French Livres (which equals 260 pounds) Gasnier weighed only 138 pounds at a height of 5’3″ yet was able to lift the weight with ease, a feat that such other noted strongmen of the day such as Sebastian Miller, Hans Beck, and Franz “Cyclops” Bienkowski could not duplicate.

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.

Sebastian Miller: The Stone Breaker

Posted on Monday, February 6th, 2012 by John Wood

A strongman has turned up in Philadelphia. He calls himself Sebastian Miller and a distinguished gathering of physicians and Professors witnessed some of his feats of strength in the Pennsylvania hospital a day ago.

Miller stripped to the waist in order that the physicians might see the workings of his gigantic muscles, and he stepped to a light pine table on which were placed several cobblestones.

A large stone was held in place and Miller, giving three powerful swings with his right arm, brought his fist down on the stone.

The first blow cracked it, the second broke it, and the third shattered it into bits.
In doing this, Miller wrapped a piece of cloth around his hand to protect it from being cut.

But Miller’s strength is not all in his arms. With a harness he has raised 3500 pounds and with his hands he can lift 1800 pounds. With three successive blows of his fist he has broken a block of Quincy granite 5 feet long, 4 feet broad and 6 inches thick.

— From The Cambridge (Ohio) Jeffersonian,  dated January 3, 1899

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.