The chance discovery of an anvil today (together with a coil of rope and a few hefty logs – perfect) reminded me of an image I came across a while ago – of the great English strongman, George F. Jowett.
George Fiursdale (sometimes Finsdale) Jowett was born in Bradford, Yorkshire on Dec 23, 1891. As a child he was taken by his uncle to see the great Eugen Sandow; an event which cemented his interest in physical culture. In 1910 he emigrated to Canada and quickly became known as a weightlifting pioneer there, forming the American Continental Weight Lifters’ Association. By the 1920s he was considered by many to be the Father of American Bodybuilding.
Jowett was known not only for total body strength (he had a fascination with lifting heavy, odd-shaped objects including anvils, ploughs and barrels), but also for his incredible grip power. Later in his career he was known as the ‘Young Hackenschmidt‘ as he worked his way up to World Wrist Wrestling Champion.
He went on to write many books and magazines (some of which are listed below), including many published by his own firm, The Jowett Institute of Physical Culture. Jowett passed away in 1969, aged 78.
Books by George F. Jowett
The World’s Weight Lifting Rules and Records (1925)
The Key to Might and Muscle (1926)
The Jowett Institute Course (1927) – a 12 lesson mail-order physical culture course
The Strongest Man that Ever Lived (1927)
Man Power: Making Yourself Superfit (1928)
Strong Man Stunts Made Easy! (1930)
Molding a Mighty Grip (1930)
Molding a Mighty Arm (1930)
Molding a Mighty Back (1931)
Molding a Mighty Chest (1938)
Molding Mighty Legs (1938)
Progressive Barbell Training (1938)
The Atlas of Anatomy (1938)
The Science of Exercise Specialization (1938)
Health and Development of the Abdomen (1938)
Advanced Barbell Training (1938)
In addition to these books he wrote numerous articles for magazines, and mail-order courses.
The Original Dinosaur, George Finsdale Jowett – by Lee Morrison
Biography of George F. Jowett – by Kathleen Lawry (Jowett’s Great Great Niece)
Image from ClassicBodybuilders.com