Barbells and Bios

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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
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
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
York Barbell Company iron boots, designed to allow weightlifters to attach barbell plates to either side of the boots.

Barbells & Bios: Iron Boots

Iron Boots are an item long since forgotten by the fitness industry. Difficult to put on, dangerously loose at times and quite awkward to use, it is unlikely that the boots were built to last the tests of time. Tucked away in the back end of the Stark Center’s archives are several pairs of Iron...

December 10, 2019January 31, 2020
Headshot of IronMan magazine founder Peary Rader, in a suit, from the Peary and Mabel Rader Collection.

Barbells & Bios: The Peary and Mabel Rader Collection

  Fans of the Iron Game will undoubtedly be familiar with the name Peary Rader. For more than fifty years, Peary, and his wife Mabel, oversaw the organization, publication and popularization of Iron Man magazine from their home town in Nebraska. They also proved pivotal in the organization of American weightlifting, powerlifting and bodybuilding, for...

October 4, 2019February 19, 2020