Month: August 2020

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A section of the front cover from Health and Strength, December 6, 1919. Caption "Flu. Fiends." with illustrations of a rat in human hand and insects, likely ticks and mosquitoes.

Barbells and Bios: Health and Strength Magazine, Part I

Health and Strength magazine began publishing in the late nineteenth century and, up until very recently, was still in circulation. Designed for a British audience, the magazine quickly became one of the most well read and well esteemed pieces of its time. In an age when information on weightlifting was hard to come by, Health...

August 27, 2020September 11, 2020
Émile Idée Cycling Photograph

Émile Idée Cycling Photograph

In any normal year, one of sports’ greatest spectacles, the Tour de France, would have concluded about a month ago. This year’s tour has unsurprisingly been rescheduled to begin August 29, but the event pictured in this photograph permanently ended its 85-year run in 2016. The Critérium National de la Route was for many years...

August 27, 2020September 10, 2020
A box for two of strongman (Eugen) Sandow's Adjustable Grip Testing Dumb Bells and the two dumbbells, with one lying horizontally and the other standing vertically.

Barbells and Bios: The Sandow Ringing Dumb-Bell

Old physical culture dumbbells really are a strange phenomenon. From squeeze grip dumb-bells to old wooden objects, the devices people used to build their bodies in the early twentieth century sometimes defy belief. One of my favorite examples of this is undoubtedly the Sandow ‘ringing’ dumbbell. Eugen Sandow, who was recently covered in a Rogue...

August 19, 2020April 15, 2020
Photograph of Katie Sandwina posing from a German publication.

An Unexpected Image…Sandwina at 17

In December of 1973, I took a workout at the Texas Athletic Club in Austin, Texas, and tested myself for the first time in the deadlift. I was inspired to see what I could lift that day by watching a young woman deadlifting at the gym who had entered a local powerlifting meet as a...

August 5, 2020September 10, 2020

Barbells and Bios: A Stark Experience with Graham Hudson

In 2019, I had the opportunity to spend a month traversing through the Stark Center’s numerous collections. Then in the final stages of completing my Ph.D. research, I left Austin after three weeks of frantic typing and photocopying with the unhappy realization that I had a lot more work to do than I realised. This,...

August 5, 2020February 13, 2020