A look at one of the original “York Gang” Gord Venables as he demonstrates the overhead squat, a movement you will have to master if you want to become an Olympic Weightlifter. At the 1944 Sr. Nationals, Gord finished third with a 710 pound total (behind Ellwood Holbrook and Bill Bush of Cincinnati). For years, Veenables also had a monthly column in Strength and Health Magazine entitled “Incredible But True!” which highlighted amazing feats of strength throughout history and the world.
The great weightlifter Art Levan on the cover of the March, 1934 issue of Strength and Health Magazine. This is one heck of an issue: Check out the lineup of strength authors: George Jowett, Earle E. Liederman, Harry Good, Bob Hoffman and Professor Paulinetti (among others.)
The year was 1930, and a young fellow named Bob Hoffman, began his oil burner business at 51 North Broad Street, in York, Pennsylvania. In the early days, the bottom floor sold heating equipment and the top floor was devoted to Hoffman’s other passion: weightlifting. Eventually, the barbell business won out and a new chapter in U.S. Weightlifting history was born. At the time of this photograph, the bottom floor was the home office of Strength & Health magazine and the right side of the building was where barbells and dumbbells were packed and shipped. In 1958, the York Barbell Company moved to a new location on North Ridge Avenue.
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.
Wilbur Miller was a very strong lifter in the 1960’s who probably didn’t get as much recognition as he deserved.
Here’s an impressive feat: This picture was taken on one of the lifting platforms in the Ridge Avenue York Gym. A group of lifters placed this 500 pound barbell onto Wilbur Miller’s feet and he commenced to “leg press” it. Yikes! You can read more details about this picture in The Dellinger Files Volume I.