ABC reported this fascinating story about one of the earlier body builders of our time. I was particularly interested in the long strong arm because my own is not working very well at the moment, especially with ‘writers’ elbow’.
The most interesting thing about this story is the first paragraph…
His first Sydney appearance promised he would exhibit his “400 phenomenally developed” muscles, tear packs of playing cards in half, and lift – at arm’s length – a grand piano on which a musician was performing, and support on his chest “a platform (weighing 800lbs/363kg) on which three horses play at see-saw”.
With his golden curls, waxed moustache and bulging muscles, Eugen Sandow cut quite a figure when he performed in Australia in 1902.
Born Friedrich Wilhelm Mueller in Prussia in 1867, Sandow was billed as the strongest man on earth and has come to be regarded as the father of body building.
The National Library of Australia (NLA) has a collection of material related to his Australian tour, including handbills, newspaper reports and a local edition of his book The Gospel of Strength, which included exercises that outlined Sandow’s theories on physical culture.