“For six months of the year, Joseph Greenstein of Brooklyn, New York parks his battered 1937 Dodge truck at Zern’s, a farmer’s market in rural Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania, where locals trade and sell everything from farm products to cattle to old postcards and used cars. In this setting, he is counselor, physician, hero, and even “saint” to the country people who spend their hard earned money on his wares.”
The Mighty Atom draws a crowd while biting a nail in half. Among the onlookers are Bob Hoffman, Dick Bachtell on the bottom left and John Grimek on the lower right. Bob Hoffman listed this feat among the greatest strength feats he had ever witnessed.
We actually know several individuals who saw The Mighty Atom perform back in the day. Here’s a few bits of memorabilia from when you could still catch his live show.
Here’s a look at “The Mighty Atom” Joe Greenstein bending a steel beam over the bridge of his nose with a little help from his friends. This extremely rare shot was taken in the ring at Madison Square Garden in 1974, the same night Slim The Hammer Man set the record for his amazing hammer lift. It was all at Aaron Banks’ big Karate show.
Back in the Summer of 1939, “The Mighty Atom” Joseph Greenstein attempted an amazing (and quite dangerous) feat. He would be chained to a chair with a car traveling at 40 miles per hour spaced out far enough to give him two minutes of lead time. If the Atom couldn’t break free of the chains in time the speeding automobile would run right over him! A news magazine was on hand with a photo crew to document the action, and, as you can see, the Atom made it …barely.
“Strongmen” are so named based on the strength of their muscles, or at least that’s how it is in most cases. The Mighty Atom Joseph Greenstein was certainly quite strong from a muscular standpoint but he also had unusually strong hair. With the aid of a strong comb, The Mighty Atom could pull vehicles with his hair, and, as shown above, even use it to bend steel bars.
A look at a rare show bill for the Mighty Atom’s August 12, 1934 appearance at the Saratoga Springs Convention Hall. Sharing the bill was the Atom’s 10 kids, one of whom, Mike Greenstein, is still performing feats of strength today into his 90’s!