Barbells & Bios: The Tom Pevier Scrapbook

Tom Pevier is not an individual familiar to many weightlifters today. Nevertheless, his physical culture interest holds a great importance for scholars of the early twentieth century. An avid weightlifter, wrestler and all-round physical culturist, Pevier went on to referee several of the early British weightlifting competitions in the early twentieth century. Pevier’s scrapbook, a recent addition to the Stark Center, details his career as a weightlifter in Britain, the burgeoning growth of British weightlifting in general and also his start as a referee. Pevier’s own lifting and wrestling career was interesting enough – Pevier won a wrestling medal as part of Eugen Sandow’s ‘Great Competition’ but it was his move as a referee which captured my attention.

Although growing in number, articles and monographs on the early years of weightlifting are few and far between. At present, we simply don’t know enough about how weightlifting clubs and competitions were founded, administrated and promoted. Pevier’s own scrapbook, containing scribbles and newspaper clippings on his time as a weightlifting referee thus provide a breadcrumb of a fascinating early history waiting to be uncovered. 

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