History

Louis Cyr and Charles Sampson: Archetypes of Vaudevillian Strongmen – Iron Game History – December, 1998

For every person who can, hundreds allege. This holds particularly true in the world of vaudevillian strongmen. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the performances of strongmen began to take a foothold in the popular entertainment industry and many strongmen could perform amazing feats of strength. Many more, however, claimed to be able to perform amazing feats of strength. The prevailing attitude, summed up in P. T. Barnum’s immortal assertion that a sucker is born every minute, encouraged charlatans to ascend vaudevillian stages hoping for what Andy Warhol would later call their fifteen minutes of fame.