The following story is taken from the December 1966 issue of Mr. America magazine. It was written by Dick Tyler, the man credited with starting the International Federation of Arm Wrestlers. I don't know how true this story is, but it's a great read:
"It had been raining all day in Boston. The cobblestones of the streets made crazy patterns as they shined by the light of the flickering street lamps. The people in the theater, this night at the turn of the century, were waiting for the entrance of a great strong man. He had been billed as the “Strongest Man on Earth.” It seemed that every vaudeville show had its “strongest man on earth.” In spite of it all, the theater was packed by those whose thirst for exhibitions of great strength could never be satisfied. The smell of the clothes drying from the evening rain made the air heavy with a musty odor. The lights dimmed and the curtain rose revealing a man of remarkable muscle and stage presence. Though not big in the way of height or weight, he seemed to abound with virile power. On countless occasions his performance was interrupted by the cheers of the excited fans.
In the darkness of the audience, however, the shadows left concealed the image of one man. His frame seemed to fight the clothes that bound it. Even his face echoed the proportions of his rugged body. His hands, that seemed to be the size of two of an ordinary man’s, twisted the program. “This man is a fake,” he said leaning to speak to his companion in the next seat. “No man his size could lift the weights he claims....”
Read all article writen by Eric Roussin on The Armwrestling Archives.