the strength of ten men



Throughout history men and women have gone to great lengths and performed amazing feats to prove their strength

One of the most remarkable of all the men noted for their strength was a butcher living in the mountains of Margeride, known as Lapiada the Extraordinary. For amusement he would lie on his belly and allow several men to get on his back; with this human load he would rise to the erect position.

Joseph Pospischilli, a convict imprisoned in the fortress of Olen, surprised the whole Empire by his wonderful feats of strength. One of his tricks was to add a fifth leg to a common table (placing the useless addition in the exact center) and then balance it with his teeth while two full-grown gypsies danced on it, the music being furnished by a violinist seated in the middle of the well-balanced platform.

gypsy rose lee

Gypsy Rose Lee

One of the strongest of the “strong women” is Madame Elise, a Frenchwoman, who performs with her husband. Her greatest feat is the lifting of eight men weighing altogether about 1700 pounds.



Miss Darnett, the “singing strong lady,” extends herself upon her hands and feet, face uppermost, while a stout platform, with a semicircular groove for her neck, is fixed upon her chest, abdomen, and thighs by means of a waist-belt which passes through brass receivers on the under side of the board. An ordinary upright piano is then placed on the platform by four men; a performer mounts the platform and plays while the “strong lady” sings a love song while supporting possibly half a ton.

weighing machine


A young mulatto girl by the name of “Miss Kerra” exhibited in the Winter Circus in Paris; suspended from a trapeze, she supported a man at the end of a strap held between her teeth, and even permitted herself to be turned round and round. She also held a cannon in her teeth while it was fired.

miss leona


If you’re interested in more feats of strength you might like to also check out this site

Published in: on October 21, 2009 at 7:19 am  Comments (27)  
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27 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I once semi-carried my 200 pound friend! Although my back did give out but still…..

  2. Madame Elise looks as though she also lifted more than a couple of Scotch pies to her mouth by night.

    Never mind your man lifting great groaning tables of dancing gypsies with nothing but his blackened tegs. I once lifted my back up off the mattress, and ran 3000 metres after the shout of ‘last orders at the bar’ went up while I was taking a wee Sunday evening snooze.

  3. “She also held a cannon in her teeth while it was fired.

    been there. dated him.

    • Ha ha… I BET you have

  4. As Old Hickory said at the Battle of New Orleans, “the more guarded the teeth, the more robust the cannon fire.” Of course, he was a heavy drinker and known to be unable to support his own table, let alone full-grown Gypsies.

    Tweed Abert (French pronunciation)

  5. I’ll take the easy one… (boy, how often have i said that in my life) – –

    …allow several men to get on his back; with this human load he would rise to the erect position.

    does this imply he can’t get erect with women? there’s a word for a man like that…

  6. Oh, that site is a treat. I need to look up mor about the “heavy support” exercises for reinforcing tendons and ligaments.

    Probably the “stuntiest” thing I ever did with my strength training was walk a full four-drawer file cabinet across an office. I just didn’t have the patience to empty out the mo’fo. It doesn’t come up to holding cannons in your teeth or like that, but it wasn’t what the university where I worked at the time usually expected of their office managers.

    • Isn’t it a great link? how about the body on Steve Reeves?

      • He was God.

  7. I’ve been known to carry a load on Friday nights.

  8. I can only hope that you thought of me and my own Herculean struggles with dancing gypsies while you wrote this heavyweight piece!

    • As a matter of fact I did Scott. You and gypsies are forever entwined in my mind

  9. A man at the end of a strap does need a lot of support. I don’t think I could support a piano as such, but I could manage a mouth organ.

  10. No man can lay on their belly erect….unless it is at an angle.

  11. Mullatto, now that is a word that isn’t often enough, like “BULLY!” and “That’s the Bees Knees!”

  12. Tag Larkin has the strength of ten bears. So when you see a bear, know that it only has 1/10th the strength of Tag Larkin.

    • Tag Larkin makes me swoon. I wish he didn’t

  13. i wish i had more inner strength. and fewer doubts.

  14. An elephant once stood on my toe and it hurt like hell! I would prefer to be the one playing the piano thanks 🙂

    • How the hell did that happen?

  15. I swear I work down the hall from the guy in the first pick…

    He even wears the same jumper.

    • He’s got a doppelganger at the gimcrack too

  16. none of this is ladylike behavior.

  17. The biggest weight in the world is the weight of expectations – one’s own and those of others. I’ve never yet met a person who hasn’t staggered beneath this weight.

  18. that herta has some wretched cankles!!

    • Doesn’t she just?

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