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Too Many Cooks? – Iron Game History – August, 1997

While the extraordinary number of circus performers named Cooke may make research difficult, there should never be complaints of too many Cookes as this great old family of showmen played an extremely important part in popularizing circuses and were, with good reason, great supporters of strongmen. They, more than anybody else, set the scene for the Golden Age of Strength. Many think that strongman acts began with Samson and Sandow in late Victorian times but that is far from true; there were good, well-known strongmen one hundred years earlier and what’s more, they were very versatile performers capable of feats which are beyond the capabilities of most strongmen today.