Le Petit Journal

Le Petit Journal

Early 20th century France was a hotbed of strongman activity… so much so, that evidently great feats of strength often spontaneously broke out. This cover for “Le Petit Journal Illustre” from 1928 shows a fellow (reputedly the great opera singer Marcel Journet)...

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Franco The Steel Bender

Franco The Steel Bender

Franco Columbu won a whole host of top bodybuilding titles including multiple wins as Mr. Universe (1970, and 1971) and Mr. Olympia (1976, 1981). Though a bodybuilder, Franco was also incredibly strong in fact, with a deadlift of nearly 800 pounds (at a bodyweight of...

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Bruce Randall at Montgomery Ward

Bruce Randall at Montgomery Ward

The Billard Barbell Company smartly hired Mr. Universe winner Bruce Randall as a spokesman to travel around the country demonstrating how to lift weights. Many a youngster became inspired to start training after seeing his presentation. Here’s a newspaper ad for Bruce...

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Art Walge’s Hub Lift

Art Walge’s Hub Lift

We already knew that South Philly’s own Art Walge had a strong set of hands. Here he is upping the ante on the hub lift. It’s a monumental feat to lift a 45 lb. plate by the hub, Art does it with an extra 5 lbs. Art’s also a lefty! No doubt that kind of grip strength...

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Professor Attila’s Athletic Studio

Professor Attila’s Athletic Studio

A look at what is probably the first location of Professor’s Attila’s gym (In 1898, he moved to midtown Manhattan). Years later, Sign Klein married Attila’s daughter and inherited much of this equipment with which he opened his own gym. You can read the story of how...

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Don Leo Jonathan

Don Leo Jonathan

Don Leo Jonathan, the famed “Mormon Giant,” was a great pro-wrestler who also understood the value of weightlifting. Here he is doing some pressing with a fantastic globe barbell at Brown’s gymnasium in Coffeeville, Kansas, circa the early 1950’s.

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Galen Gough’s Beer Barrel Barbell

Galen Gough’s Beer Barrel Barbell

Another look at Galen Gough’s excellent Beer Barrel Barbell. Back in the 1930’s Gough went on a beer fast — for 30 days, he ate and drank nothing else but Oertel’s beer. He ended up losing 25 pounds in the process. Also, just to show that he suffered no ill will while...

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1967 IFBB Mr. Universe

1967 IFBB Mr. Universe

A look at Joe Weider shaking Sergio Oliva’s hand on the winner’s platform of the 1967 IFBB Mr. Universe contest. This event was held at Montreal’s Paul Sauvè Arena and the Jr. and Sr. Mr. Canada contests were also held in conjunction. Vic Downs, winner of the “Most...

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Vince Gironda Tossing The Caber

Vince Gironda Tossing The Caber

Here’s something you don’t see every day: “The Iron Guru” Vince Gironda tossing the caber. Vince was, of course, well-known in bodybuilding circles but he had other talents as well. In the early 1970’s he used to get a gang together every Saturday morning to practice...

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Milo Steinborn

Milo Steinborn

A look at a young Milo Steinborn as he looked when he was featured in Bernarr Macfadden’s “Musclebuilder” magazine in 1928. It had been a long while since the strength world had seen anything like Milo, who was world class in both wrestling as well as weightlifting....

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