The Legacy of Pudgy Stockton – Iron Game History – January, 1992

In much the same way that John Grimek ushered in the Modern era of men’s bodybuilding, Santa Monica’s Abbye (“Pudgy”) Eville Stockton is a pivotal figure in the history of women’s exercise. Before Stockton there were a few professional strongwomen who trained with weights-large often massive women such as Minerva and Sandwina who helped perpetuate the myth that weights would make a woman large, unattractive and, perhaps, a trifle coarse. In the late 1920’s and throughout the 1930’s, photographs of England’s amateur strongwoman, Ivy Russell, appeared frequently in Health and Strength, and her unusual muscularity and strength created interest and wonder buy failed to establish her as a feminine role model.