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.

Lee “Strongman” Jones

Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 by John Wood
Lee “Strongman” Jones does his thing back in the mid-1950’s. We don’t know anything about the man other than he obviously has a pretty strong set of choppers.
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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.

Yet Another Way to Lift a Horse

Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 by John Wood
George Jagendorfer demonstrates one of the many ways that he lifted a horse while performing for Hengler’s Circus in the 1890’s. You have to have a pretty strong set of choppers for this one.
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.

Unknown Strongman #4

Posted on Monday, January 20th, 2014 by John Wood

UNknown Strongman #4

Here’s another unknown strongman whose identity is unfortunately lost to history. I believe he was German, and whoever he was, clearly has a strong set of choppers on him. That’s a pretty nifty globe barbell too!
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.

The Mighty Atlas

Posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 by John Wood
The Mighty Atlas - Anvil Neck Strength
You’ve probably seen the old feat of strength where a strongman puts an anvil or a large stone slab on his chest and lets someone hit it with a sledge hammer… but I guarantee you haven’t seen this feat before though, — “The Mighty Atlas,” Morris Shapiro, a professional wrestler from Brooklyn, New York, teeth-lifting an anvil while someone else whacks said anvil with a sledge hammer.

Now that’s impressive!

The Mighty Atlas often demonstrated feats of strength before his matches, bending iron bars, snapping chains, ripping phone books etc. He learned the secrets of strength from his father who was a strongman in the Russian Circus in Minsk.

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.

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.

Harry F. Griffin, The Strongman of Engine Company 13

Posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2012 by John Wood
There are many examples of strongmen who were famous in some parts of the country but virtually unknown elsewhere. One great example is Harry F. Griffin, “The Strongman of Engine Company 13” who was a local legend in Los Angeles and throughout the west coast. When he wasn’t fighting fires, Griffin performed many traditional strongman feats, twisting horseshoes, nail driving, chain breaking, bending spikes etc. His specialty, however, was jaw strength, as you can see in this rare picture from 1913. Griffin was said to have the strongest jaw of any man alive

Great Beckett “The Five-Plank Marvel”

Posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2012 by John Wood

The Great Beckett: The Five-Plank Marvel

We specialize in bringing you content that you won’t find anywhere else, and here’s a great example: pictured above you’ll find Great Beckett “The Five-Plank Marvel.” How did he get this nickname? His act consisted of hammering a large nail through (count’em) five thick wooden planks… then pulling out the nail with his teeth. Needless to say, the strength of neck, jaw, gums and teeth required for this performance is prodigious.
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.

Signor Lawanda, The Iron Jawed Man

Posted on Saturday, December 24th, 2011 by John Wood

Signor Lawanda - The Iron Jawed Man

Signor Lawanda, born Hugh David Evans in Bethlehem, PA, was the possessor of one of the strongest jaws of all time.  Rightfully billed as “The Iron Jawed Man” Lawanda famously lifted a barrel filled with water then allowed as many as four men to sit astride it.  Lawanda could also bite silver dollars in half, and caught P.T. Barnum’s eye when he lifted a 1400 pound horse via a harness clenched in his teeth.  Needless to say, training for these unusual types of feats also led to unusual development in the musculature of Lawanda’s neck and jaws.

‘The Great’ Joe Rollino

Posted on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 by John Wood

Joe Rollino

Joe Rollino learned the strongman trade as an assistant to Warren Lincoln Travis at the famed Coney Island. In the 1920’s, Rollino branched out into his own strongman act.

Joe stood 5’5″ and weighed just under 150 pounds but possessed the strength of someone twice his size. He easily performed all the traditional feats of strength such as back lifting, finger lifting, nail bending, phonebook and playing card tearing and, shown here, bending a spike in his teeth. He once lifted 635 pounds with one finger.

Rollino was also a boxer under the name “Kid Dundee” and, like many strongmen of the day, was a very good hand balancer. Joe was a lifelong vegetarian and lived to 105 years old. He passed away a few years ago, not from sickness or disease but from getting hit by a van while crossing the street to pick up his morning paper.