Orville Stamm – The Boy Hercules

Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 by John Wood
A top vaudeville attraction for several decades, Orville Stamm, who performed as “The Boy Hercules” possessed many talents. He would often sing a rendition of “Ireland Must Be Heaven, Because My Mother Came from There” to the accompaniment of a piano which he happened to be supporting in the “Tomb Of Hercules.”

Stamm could also tear a deck of cards into quarters, played the violin with his 66-pound bulldog Tige tied to the wrist of his bow arm, lifted a horse with one hand, and performed acrobatic feats ~ Sounds like quite a show! Stamm learned the strongman arts as a member of the Los Angeles Athletic Club and a student of Al Treloar.

During World War I, Orville Stamm also served as physical instructor to the Navy and one of his students was president-to-be Franklin D. Roosevelt. After FDR was elected, Orville and his wife Martha were often guests at the Whitehouse for tea.

Felice Napoli

Posted on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 by John Wood
One of the earliest of the Oldtime Strongmen, Felice Napoli of Italy was performing incredible feats of strength in Wallshlager’s Circus in the 1850’s. Napoli dressed as the mythical Hercules as he performed and certainly lived up to it: Napoli’s act consisted of his having a cannon shot off while held on his shoulders, bending iron bars, lifting heavy weights while hanging upside down from a trapeze, The Tomb of Hercules, and performing feats while hanging on a vertically suspended rope, a type of feat known as “The Spanish Web’. Plus, he had an excellent goatee.

Kohen’s Tomb Of Hercules

Posted on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 by John Wood
Here’s a look at Joseph B. Kohen performing “The Tomb of Hercules” feat. Count ’em up, looks to be at least a thousand pounds which is no small accomplishment.
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 Tomb of Hercules

Posted on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 by John Wood
Supporting heavy weights on the knees and shoulders as shown here was known as “The Tomb of Hercules” feat and it was invented by Professor Attila. Practitioners, like Sandow pictured above, increased the drama by acting as the pivot point in a “human bridge.” In Sandow’s era, they used horses but a few decades later, many strongmen upped the ante by having heavy motor cars drive over the “bridge.” Because the weight is supported rather than lifted a tremendous poundage can be used, but that certainly does not mean that this feat is easy.
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.