Saturday, September 13, 2014

1940 magazine advertisement: "Making Mighty Men"

I am working on a longer post about the magazine that this advertisement comes from — the 15¢ January 1940 issue of Strength and Health. It was published by Strength and Health Publishing Co. in York, Pennsylvania, and edited by bodybuilder and York Barbell owner Bob Hoffman.

The magazine is filled with stories and advertisements (almost all for York Barbell) about building the perfect physique, rejuvenating your sex life and techniques, weightlifting, the world's strongest men, personal success stories of everyday bodybuilders around the nation, and more. As I said, there's a lot of fascinating angles to delve into with regard to this 74-year-old publication.

But for now, this is just a little taste.

The above advertisement focuses on Bob Hoffman's course in dumbell [sic?] training. A book containing 48 exercises using these weights was available for just $1 from York Barbell Company.

The use of dumbbells is claimed to have helped such all-star bodybuilders as...

  • Arthur Saxon, nicknamed The Iron Master
  • Louis Cyr [pictured at right], who some claim to be the strongest man who ever lived
  • Eugen Sandow, a German who was known as the "father of modern bodybuilding"
  • Bobby Pandour, who was born Wladyslaw Kurcharczyk in Poland
  • George Hackenschmidt, who is credited as being both a strongman and philosopher
  • Hermann Görner, a German who wrestled elephants and performed various feats of strength

Some of those names might not mean much to us, by they were superstars in the world of bodybuilding and strongmen in the first half of the 20th century, and Strength and Health magazine knew that name-dropping those individuals would certainly help with the sales of Hoffman's various products from York Barbell.

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