Chuck Vinci was another great olympic weightlifter from York, Pennsylvania. Though he stood only 4’11” and weighed 123 pounds, he could clean & jerk well over 300 pounds and snatch 220+. Vinci was a Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (1956 and 1960), Seven-time world Senior National Champion (1954-1956,1958-1961) and set Twelve World Records during his career.
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.
Bob Jones (who else?) does a one-arm handstand on a (tipped) rocker at the York Barbell picnic some time in the late 1930’s (probably 1937). The early York picnics were held right behind Bob Hoffman’s house on Lightner’s Hill in North York, Pennsylvania. Hoffman can be seen bent-pressing the large globe barbell in the background in another picture taken the same day HERE.
They say that the York picnics were so popular that cars were parked three quarters of a mile in every direction. Hoffman’s house is still there and you can see it if you know where to look.