Published as a postcard circa 1910, this sandalled strongman leaves nothing to chance in protecting his modesty, and wears a large paper leaf, thoroughly secured with plenty of string!
The printed inscription on this magnificent man’s photograph looked familiar, on investigation I found I have another from the same photographer, one K. Pospishil of Bohemia.
A further photograph of the magnificently muscular body builder Eugen Sandow, by Napoleon Sarony of New York.
Sarony, Napoleon, 1821-1896, photographer. Bodybuilder Eugen Sandow as the Farnese Hercules. New York, 1893.
TCS 1 Houghton Library, Harvard University
A very welcome addition to my small collection of photographs showing Eugen Sandow, and such extremely thorough credits are a delight to see!
Showing off his impressive physique in the photographer’s studio, this strapping chap seems to have been given a little discreet editing before printing; he’s distinctly blurry around the edges of that little fig leaf!
The impressively muscular Otto Olympier, his picture taken by an uncredited photographer and published as a postcard. Not intended to be sent home from a holiday as we mostly use them today, but for those who collected the cards as a hobby; images of strongmen and bodybuilders seem to have been a popular subject, judging by the amount which have survived to this day.
Eugen Sandow, in a studio photography session for George Steckel, 1894 - his directions appear to have been along the lines of ‘look up; look gently happy’, for the other shot I have from the same series follows the precise same theme!
Georg Lurich, unusual among early strongmen in having his photograph published fully nude on occasion, rather than always discretely covered up (either in the studio, or with a little later editing before printing), as was the norm.
Eugene Sandow, 1890s.
Having last seen the mighty Sandow in motion, I thought you may like a still image to enjoy - here he is being carefully posed by the studio team (and given a jolly odd look by the chap on the right!)
One for the admirers of the more muscular of male forms, a photograph of one Ed Gloeggler, circa 1900 - doesn’t he have impressively strong shoulders, and I’m rather taken with the ruffled blond curls!
The background carefully blacked out to provide perfect contrast, Sid Harmer poses as Hermes in this early 1900s postcard, photographer unknown.
Photographed in Prague in the early 20th century, Gustav Frištenský. A second image of him can be seen here, and he features in the earliest known film of a wrestling match - 1913, against Josef Smejkal.
Adrien Deriaz, photographed in 1905 - further images of this early bodybuilder can be seen here.