Why I Wanted to Visit a Dead Man’s Grave

For reasons that I will happily discuss later, I was recently in London with my family and had a to-do list of physical culture-related materials that I wanted to check out. First, there would be a meal at the German Gymnasium. This was one of the first public gymnasiums to open in nineteenth-century London and... Continue Reading →

How Sandow Became Muscular (1894 Article)

“SANDOW, as a muscular phenomenon is of comparatively limited interest to the public, save as an exciting, and doubtlessly engaging, curiosity; but Sandow, as the culmination of a system which will enable even the weakest to attain a perfect physical development, is an object of stu- pendous interest to everybody.” The above forceful dictum is... Continue Reading →

Sandow and Stout: An Irish Story

The Irish alcohol industry has, at its core, always been particularly adept at marketing. From Whiskey to Guinness, sellers have used a variety of inventive advertisements to flog their wares to a thirsty public. Illustrating this is today's post about a strange encounter between Eugen Sandow, a Prussian born strongman and Murphy's Stout based in... Continue Reading →

Bobby Pandour: The Mysterious Muscle Man

Wladyslaw Kurcharczyk, or 'Bobby Pandour' is one of the most fascinating physical culturists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. A gymnast by trade who published little in the way of training material, Pandour is widely regarded as having possessed one of the finest physiques of his time. That he claimed to have built... Continue Reading →

Bobby Pandour: The Mysterious Muscle Man

Wladyslaw Kurcharczyk, or 'Bobby Pandour' is one of the most fascinating physical culturists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. A gymnast by trade who published little in the way of training material, Pandour is widely regarded as having possessed one of the finest physiques of his time. That he claimed to have built... Continue Reading →

‘The Sandow Girl’, c. 1906

Source: The Sketch, 2 May (1906), 69. In the early 1900s, a travelling vaudeville show known as 'The Dairymaids' briefly toured across Great Britain and North America. As part of the performance, every night would see the emergence of 'Sandow Girls' replete with mock dumbbells and form fitting clothing. They were of course, named after the... Continue Reading →

Katie Sandwina: The Strongest Woman in the World

Strongmen around the turn of the 19th century usually grab the attention of most people interested in Physical Culture. Almost everyone will know the name Eugen Sandow. Yet despite our preconceived notions that strength is an exclusively male pursuit, Physical Culture was in fact an all-encompassing movement that didn’t exclude based on gender. There were... Continue Reading →

Sandow and Stout: An Irish Story

The Irish alcohol industry has, at its core, always been particularly adept at marketing. From Whiskey to Guinness, sellers have used a variety of inventive advertisements to flog their wares to a thirsty public. Illustrating this is today's post about a strange encounter between Eugen Sandow, a Prussian born strongman and Murphy's Stout based in... Continue Reading →

Sandow and Stout: An Irish Story

The Irish alcohol industry has, at its core, always been particularly adept at marketing. From Whiskey to Guinness, sellers have used a variety of inventive advertisements to flog their wares to a thirsty public. Illustrating this is today's post about a strange encounter between Eugen Sandow, a Prussian born strongman and Murphy's Stout based in... Continue Reading →

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