Edward “Spike” Howard, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, (unsurprisingly) earned his nickname thanks to his ability to bend and break spikes. A former Vaudeville strongman for many years, Howard is shown above breaking a chain with chest expansion. Performing feats of strength was actually not his only specialty: Howard also donated blood well over 1000 times which is also thought to be some kind of record.
Pete Reynolds performed for many years on the Vaudeville and night club circuit as Little Samson – The World’s Strongest Small Man. Standing only five feet tall and weighing 107 pounds, he certainly fit the bill, among other feats, he ripped phone books in half… then quarters… then eighths! You won’t find many heavy weights who could accomplish such a feat. Samson attributed his great strength to his healthy diet, and after he retired from the road, opened a health food store in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Ben Darwin, of Houston Texas was billed as “The Man With Iron Teeth” due to his unique ability to bite through chains. Mr. Darwin once helped a ship’s engineer out of a difficult situation by chewing through a chain that had become tangled. A career in Vaudeville followed shortly. “Iron Teeth” were not his only talent, Mr. Darwin also had unusually strong hair, and was a world speed bag punching champion.