Near as we can tell, Vigoral consisted of concentrated beef extract mixed with some pulverized beef and strongly flavored with celery salt and sported an impressive 60 grams of protein per serving. It was advised that you could guzzle it straight OR put it on a salad, use it as a dipping sauce, etc. Vigoral was one of the first “special foods” to use weightlifters and physical culture imagery in their ads and at one point, had one of the first celebrity endorsements.
Vitamins, supplements and other forms of “special foods” are big business these days, but also nothing new. There have been many other examples through the ages and here is one of particular interest from 1899: Vigoral, from Armour & Company out of Chicago. As the ad says, it was both meat AND drink – delicious!
Joseph Barton Kohen “The American Hercules” (also sometimes known as “The Allegheny Hercules” based on his hometown of Allegheny, PA), was a well known feature in Bernarr MacFadden’s early Physical Culture Magazines. In fact, he was one of the very first strongmen to ever appear on a magazine cover. Kohen also secured himself one of the first endorsement deals ever, he appeared in many ads promoting VIGORAL, the delicious beefy drink from Armour & Company in Chicago. Check out that sweet training gear — and his hair was perfect.