Early York Barbell Co. Advertisement – “We Build Mighty Men”

Posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2015 by John Wood
Here’s an ad for the York Barbell Company from 1934 making it a very early one. Notice Bob Hoffman — with hair! — and the famous picture of Wally Zagursky and Tony Terlazzo getting in a quick workout with York equipment in BoHo’s backyard on Lightner’s Hill in north York.
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 Famous Rolandow Dumbbell

Posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by John Wood

The Rolandow Dumbbell has a very interesting history. It was originally cast by the McLoughlin Iron Foundry in Brooklyn, New York in 1896 at the request of Warren Lincoln Travis who wanted to use it in his act.

The dumbbell was supposed to be 200 lbs. but came out of the mold just over it at 209 lbs.

A few years went by and fellow strongman G.W. Rolandow offered to purchase it from Travis, on the condition that Travis deliver the bell himself.

Travis grabbed the bell, hopped on the nearest street car, transferred twice and carried the bell two city blocks and up two flights of steps to Rolandow’s office.

Rolandow then stated that unless he could lift the dumbbell, there would be no sale. And with that, we walked over to it, hefted it to his shoulder and commenced to bent-press it no less than seven times!

After several decades, Rolandow closed his gym and his famous dumbbell eventually became acquired by Sig Klein who featured it as a challenge weight in his own facility.

If someone could succeed in bent-pressing the Rolandow Dumbbell, Klein put their name on an Honor Roll, here’s how it looked:

(1) G.W. Rolandow
(2) John Grimek
(3) Bob Hoffman
(4) Wally Zagurski
(5) John Davis
(6) Jack Kent
(7) Frank Bates
(8) Bob Harley
(9) Siegmund Klein
(10) Aurele Velleux
(11) George Hobby
(12) Elwood Holbrook

1900
1934
1936
1936
1936
1937
1937
1937
1939
1939
1940
1941

The current whereabouts of the Rolandow Dumbbell are unknown.

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.

Wally Zagurski Lifts The Cyr Dumbbell

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

Wally Zagurski Lifts The Cyr Dumbbell

Wally Zagurski, an original member of the York Barbell Club by way of St. Charles, Missouri, was one of the few men who could bent press the famous 202 lb.Louis Cyr Dumbbell – and many certainly tried. Zagurski was also a great weightlifter and competed in the 1932 Olympics. The Cyr Bell can still be seen at the York Barbell Hall of Fame.

Strength and Health Magazine: Volume 1, Issue 1

Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 by John Wood

Strength and Health issues number one, Wally Zagurski cover

Just in case you ever need to know who was on the cover of the very first issue of Strength and Health magazine, the answer is Walter “Wally” Zagurski. This issue hit the scene in December of 1932. Starting a magazine in the teeth of the Great Depression was quite an ambitious undertaking for Bob Hoffman, something which will be covered in great detail in the second volume of The Dellinger Files.

Zagurski was an original member of the “York Gang” who lifted back when it was called the “York Oil Burner Athletic Club.” He competed in the 1932 Olympics, won the 1933 Sr. National Weightlifting title at 165 pounds and was a very good all-around strength athlete.