U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Puyo and Demachy said it first [was Re. Paper Negatives]

Re: Puyo and Demachy said it first [was Re. Paper Negatives]

Judy Seigel wrote:
On Sun, 2 Dec 2007, Gordon Cooper wrote:

There was a health club chain open in the US c. 1870 with the development of the "Health Lift"reactionary lifting machine. Club swinging, parallel bars and pulley weights were standard too. Oh, and a lot of the gyms were for women, as Jan Todd and other historians of Physical Culture have noted. Genevieve Stebbins, the Delsarte proponent was a paid member of the Dudley Sargent gymnasium at Harvard c. 1890. A number of schools implemented the Delsarte method of physical culture training as described by Stebbins and her contemporaries. A quick perusal of early issues of "Health and Strength" or "Physical Culture" magazine will reveal ads for quite a few gyms and facilities for women (and men). "Pudgy" Stockton was a professional bodybuilder in the 1930's, and she was by no means the first.
Actually, Gordon, you may be proving my point !!!! My family subscribed at one time or another to a dozen magazines & read a dozen more at various times. We never ever even HEARD of the physical culture magazines you cite. Today when I walk to the post office I pass 3 gyms in one direction and going to the main post office in the other direction I pass two.

My point isn't that there were no gyms or "physical culture," but that something happened to bring this culture to the masses, into the mainstream -- to put the Crunch gym on Hudson Street with 100 people using the stair master at street level on view behind a wall of glass. (Well, maybe not 100 people at once, but if you stood there for a couple of hours.....)

Or walk east from the post office on Christopher Street, you pass two more...I don't recall ever seeing a gym or even hearing of one in my "youth," which believe it or not was well into the 20th century. Today even my heterosexual friends in for gods sake THE SUBURBS belong to gyms.

What more can I say?
Um.. Judy, it was mainstream. Several times. I take it you've heard of the Speedo swim suit? Annette Kellerman? Million Dollar Mermaid? The New York Times? Did your family read the Times in 1904? 1927? 1891? Army calisthenics? Did you have a family member in the armed forces after 1870? If so, they participated in the mainstream of Physical Culture.

The mainstream is defined by whether or not you or your family have heard of something or participated in it?

Try suggesting that to my historian friend, Ronald Hutton. But duck quickly.

Gordon Cooper