Month: February 2020

Home / 2020 / February
The Four Laps to the Mile Narragansett dual bicycle racers in the closed stacks room.

Narragansett Machine Co. Standard Bicycle Trainer

Manufactured by Narragansett Machine Company of Providence, R.I. around the turn of the twentieth century, this pair of stationary exercise bikes are relics of the “bike boom” that swept the country in the 1890s. Each bike connects to a color-coordinated hand on the nearly 4-foot diameter dial measuring distance; the first rider to cover the...

February 24, 2020January 31, 2020
Cover of the book De Arte Gymnastica, by Hieronymous Mercurialis in 1573; from the collection of David P. Webster, OBE; and donated to Stark Center co-founders Jan and Terry Todd at the Arnold (Schwarzenegger) Strongman Classic, in Columbus Ohio, in 2005.

Barbells & Bios: De Arte Gymnastica

  Published by the Italian physician Hieronymous Mercurialis in the sixteenth century, De Arte Gymnastica has long been cited by historians as a pivotal moment in the revival of European gymnastics. Coming at a time when interest in Greco-Roman culture was growing, Mercurialis’ work was one of the first monographs to focus almost exclusively on exercise and...

February 21, 2020February 19, 2020
Gymnast Cathy Rigby, just before performing on the uneven bars in competition, from the Steve Wennerstrom Papers.

Photo of Cathy Rigby

Born in 1952 in Long Beach, California, Cathy Rigby was a popular American gymnast whose fame extended beyond the sport. The highest scoring American gymnast at the Mexico City Olympic Games of 1968, Rigby’s sporting prowess was beyond reproach.  She followed her ’68 Olympic performance with United States National Championships in 1970 and 1972. Fun...

February 17, 2020February 13, 2020
Valentine's Day greeting card with a boy pretending to be a strongman, and attempting to lift a barbell with heart-shaped plates with the caption: Can't "weight" much longer, Valentine, Be Mine.

1950s Strongman Valentine

To wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d share this 1950s children’s Valentine depicting a strongman and his weightlifting pooch. The card, collected by Jan and Terry Todd, is one of several dozen twentieth-century greeting cards in their collection depicting children as weightlifters. Measuring only 2.5 x 4 inches, the card was...

February 14, 2020March 25, 2020
Headshot of Andrew Hao

Andrew Hao Receives IOC Grant

Fifth-year PhD candidate Andrew Hao recently returned to Austin from two weeks at the Olympic Studies Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he completed research on the Asian Games Federation’s admission of the Chinese Olympic Committee in the early 1970s. Andrew’s research was funded by the International Olympic Committee itself. He was one of just six...

February 12, 2020February 13, 2020
Bill Wiman standing in front of his painting of a bodybuilder in the Teresa Lozano Long Art Gallery, in the main lobby.

“Portrait of a Powerlifter” by Bill Wiman

Painting, oil on canvas. At first glance, there is something curious in Bill Wiman’s “Portrait of a Powerlifter,” a familiarity in the subject’s muted facial expression, which grasps a viewer’s attention like the apparition of celebrity in a crowd. I wrongly assumed the powerlifter was someone famous, someone I’d seen in the movies. As it...

February 10, 2020February 13, 2020
The George F. Jowett Anvil, from the George F. Jowett Collection, in the Strong Men, Strong Women Gallery.

Barbells & Bios: The George Jowett Anvil

  Donated to the Stark Center by Phyllis Jowett, the Jowett Anvil belonged to the late George F. Jowett. George, as many individuals are aware, was a British-Canadian physical culturist who, among other things, helped further the cause of American bodybuilding and weightlifting. A strong man in his own right, Jowett’s claim to fame was...

February 7, 2020February 19, 2020