Barbells and Bios

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Barbells & Bios: The Sydell Herbst–Christopher Gian-Cursio Collection

Barbells & Bios: The Sydell Herbst–Christopher Gian-Cursio Collection

Born in Rochester, New York in 1910, Christopher Gian-Cursio was one of America’s most outspoken, popular and reviled commentators on alternative medicine. Trained at Dr. Benjamin Lust’s American School of Naturopathy, Gian-Cursio came to practice what he termed Natural Hygiene for several decades. Like many practitioners of alternative medicine at this time, Gian-Cursio was against...

May 20, 2020February 19, 2020
Barbells & Bios: The Tom Kite Scrapbook

Barbells & Bios: The Tom Kite Scrapbook

  Beginning at the Austin Country Club, Tom Kite’s rise in golf saw him become one of the most consistent and well-regarded golfers of the twentieth century. Trained under the tutelage of Harvey Penick, whose records are also held at the Stark Center, Kite’s papers tell both the personal story of Kite’s rise to fame...

May 6, 2020February 19, 2020
Barbells & Bios: The Sportswoman Magazine

Barbells & Bios: The Sportswoman Magazine

Published for several decades, beginning in the 1920s, The Sportswoman marks one of the earlier, and indeed, most fascinating insights into female sport in America in the first half of the twentieth century. Part of the Stark’s Anna Hiss Collection, the magazine covered a range of women’s sports including, but not limited to field hockey, lacrosse, badminton...

April 22, 2020February 19, 2020
Barbells & Bios: Giovanni Belzoni, Strong Man Egyptologist

Barbells & Bios: Giovanni Belzoni, Strong Man Egyptologist

Published by Colin Clair in 1957, Giovanni Belzoni – Strong Man Egyptologist is a dramatized account of one of the nineteenth century’s most fascinating characters. An early strongman by trade who travelled around Britain and Ireland, Belzoni made his fame as exploring Egypt and reporting back to the British press. Based primarily on Belzoni’s own travels accounts,...

April 8, 2020February 19, 2020

Barbells & Bios: Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book

  As an avid, but unsuccessful golfer, I have a deep appreciation for those skilled in the sport. In a career spanning several decades, Penick was involved with the game at every level. From 1913 to 1923 he caddied at the Austin Country Club.  In 1923 he became the head professional right out of high school. ...

March 20, 2020March 10, 2020

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...

March 6, 2020February 19, 2020
Barbells & Bios: De Arte Gymnastica

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
Barbells & Bios: The George Jowett Anvil

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