Otis Lambert

Posted on Monday, February 12th, 2018 by John Wood
Otis Lambert, was a staple on the Vaudeville circuit for years. He achieved his greatest fame while partnered with Adolph Nordquest. One of Lambert’s greatest feats was to perform a Get-Up Lift while holding Nordquest aloft, plus a 25-pound dumbbell – a total weight of 220 pounds.
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.

Spike Howard

Posted on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by John Wood
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.
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.

“Little Samson”

Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2014 by John Wood

Little Samson

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.
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.

Abe Boshes

Posted on Sunday, December 1st, 2013 by John Wood
To provide additional proof that one can be impressive without being “huge” here is the famous Brooklyn strongman Abe Boshes. Boshes stood 5’3″ at a bodyweight of around 150 pounds and was very well-known for his shoulder development (which was obviously a big contributor to his stature.) Boshes did quite a bit of training with chest expanders.

Boshes could bent-press around 220 lbs for a single and a 100 lb. dumbbell 18 times in succession. In the early 1900’s, he won a contest put on by Bernarr MacFadden and the fame from doing so allowed him to travel the country on the Vaudeville circuit. Like many strongmen of the time he also did some wrestling.

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.

Joe Lambert

Posted on Sunday, December 1st, 2013 by John Wood

Joe Lambert, a strongman from Boston, ran off to join Louis Cyr’s circus when he was 16 years old. He traveled the country and the world performing feats of strength first with Cyr’s circus, and later with Barnum & Bailey’s, The Ringling Brothers, the Vaudeville circuit and even in South America with the Pablione Circus. He was good friends with Clevio Massimo and Adolph Nordquest.
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.

Mr. John

Posted on Friday, February 8th, 2013 by John Wood

Mr. John. Vaudeville

Now THAT’S a chest expander! “Mr. John” was a vaudeville performer in the teens who worked feats of strength into a slapstick comedy routine. As you might guess, many of these feats involved prodigious strand pulling feats.
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.

Earle E. Liederman

Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2011 by John Wood
Earle E. Liederman
Earle E. Liederman began his career as a strongman on the vaudeville circuit and traveled the country performing feats of strength and acrobatics. Liederman eventually grew tired of the traveling life and settled down to write a series of books and training courses which became incredibly successful, making him one of the first of the Mail Order Muscle Barons.

His first training course showcased a number of exercises that could be done with chest expanders and bodyweight exercises. Theses courses were very popular since they did not require a lot of equipment and could be done at home.