Stanley Radwan was a catch-wrestler and strongman who performed during the 1940’s and 50’s in the Cleveland, Ohio area. This event poster from 1949 advertises Radwan pulling cars with his teeth, biting through steel, breaking chains, bending horseshoes, bend nails and spikes, nail driving by hand, tearing decks of cards, and performing the human chain feat. It was said Radwan could also bend coins with his hands. As a side note, St. Josaphat’s Hall is still around, it was converted to an art gallery a few years ago.
Here’s a Human Chain” feat of a whole different sort. That’s “The Amazing Samson” Alexander Zass suspended in mid-air while also lifting a 500-pound iron girder in his teeth. That’s a pretty awesome feat no matter how you slice it, one that we have never seen equaled before or since.
As far as Oldtime Strongmen go, few were more impressive than “The Amazing Samson” Alexander Zass. Bending and breaking nails… twisting horse shoes …driving nails by hand… supporting feats… scrolling steel… breaking chains… teeth lifting… carrying horses or pianos on his back… Samson did it all. Interestingly, Zass attributed much of his strength and development to isometric training.
Many of the Oldtime Strongmen used teeth lifting in their performances and also as a neck developer. If you do decide to incorporate this lift into your training, please do so safely. Here’s a classic shot of Jim Murray, managing editor of Strength and Health Magazine, using a York Barbell Company custom-made mouthpiece to lift a 200-pound dumbbell.