Mark Henry Cleans the Thomas Inch Dumbbell

Just over one hundred years ago, or so the story goes, the professional strongman Thomas Inch had a special dumbell cast that weighed 172 pounds. What makes the dumbell particularly difficult to lift is the thickness of its handle—almost 2 1⁄2” in diameter. For the first half of the twentieth century, Inch claimed that he was the only man who could lift the huge bell off the floor at all, and he often offered large cash prizes for anyone who could do so. He never had to pay, and it was not until the 1950s when several men in Scotland, including Henry Gray, were able to lift the bell.