Thursday, June 30, 2011

THE DEVELOPMENT OF PHYSICAL POWER - (Circa 1906) - Chapter 23 - STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD - By Arthur Saxon

Arthur Saxon at the Newport Empire

Arthur Saxon claims to be the strongest man in the world, and the marvellous feats he performed at the Newport Empire on Monday evening would seem to justify that claim. This modern Hercules is a man of powerful build, of magnificent physique, and with muscles literally as hard as iron. He and his two partners lift and twist and twirl about heavy bar-bells with as much ease as though they were four pound weights. Arthur Saxon demonstrates that he can support with his legs and arms considerably over a ton. Ten men are marched on to the stage and seated on a heavy plank which Saxon balanced on his legs; then he raised his two partners and another man, making thirteen men in all, on a 150 lb. bar-bell, which he held in his hands.

He gave a challenge to meet all comers at 24 hours' notice. The youngest of these Samsons lifted a 119 lb. ring-weight with a man on top of it. Arthur Saxon raised two men over his head on the bar-bell while he held a third in his teeth. The other feats were equally marvellous, as a great a weight as l,420 lbs. being lifted on one occasion. The whole performance was carried through without a hitch, and the Saxons well deserve the hearty applause which they received.

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The Football News - Saturday, April 23rd, 1904

TWENTIETH CENTURY HERCULES

Arthur Saxon of the Saxon Trio

It has been conjectured by the late John Huxley, the late Prof. Lecky, and Mr. Daniel Leno, sitting in Grand Council, that there are precisely 273 claimants to the title of the "strongest man on earth."

I am not going to say that Arthur Saxon is the strongest man on earth. Personally, I believe he is, but I cannot prove it. All if can say is that if there is a stronger specimen of the "genus homo" than this magnificent mass of brawn and muscle, I should like to see him.

Interviewed the other day, Arthur Saxon gave some interesting details about himself. At the first glance Saxon does not strike one as being anything beyond an ordinary individual you may meet in the street, but stripped - then is the difference. Just under 14 stone in weight, he carries a 48in. chest, is 24in. round the thigh, 171/2ins. Round the upper arm, the same around the neck, stands 5 ft. l0 ins. In height, and was born as recently as 1878, being consequently just now at his best.

Arthur Saxon hold the world's record for a one-handed lift. This formerly stood to the credit of Louis Cyr (262 lbs.), the next being Sandow's 254 lb. made at the Aquarium and Royal Holborn respectively. Arthur Saxon night lifts a bar-bell weighing 300 lb., but last year went for the record, the weight being 314 lb. There was a number of amateur and professional strong men present to bear witness to the bona fide of the weight, which turned the scale at 314 lb. Resting the bell on end, Arthur Saxon raised it to his shoulder, and, amidst great silence, essayed the arduous task of pressing it aloft with one hand. The strain was terrific, but without wasting any particle of his strength, Arthur held it aloft for the space of about a quarter of a minute. His success was greeted with loud and prolonged cheers.

A GENUINE "SHOW"

So says the Sporting Life, so there is no doubt about the genuineness of the performance. Also people will be interested to know that a surprise visit was paid to the hall where the Saxons were performing by the representatives of a health magazine, who had all the bar-bells weighed, and found that, like Caesar's wife, they were above suspicion. Arthur Saxon, indeed, is always most anxious for investigation into his performance.

His brothers, Hermann and Adolf, are little less strong, and between the three the list of records in weight-lifting has had a bad time.

Iron Nation
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Bob Whelan

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