Re: Puyo and Demachy said it first [was Re. Paper Negatives]
Gordon -- You're "proving" that some concepts existed. I don't doubt it. I'm talking about everyday life.
So what if I *heard* of the "speedo swimsuit" ?-- a piece of clothing you wore, and written up as such. I NEVER saw one on a person or knew a person who had one, making it extra beside the point. I also heard of graham crackers and smelling salts and touch your toes and chew 100 times before swallowing and endless wacko "health" plans, some of which indeed reached the mainstream -- what was the one about drinking vinegar? (I think you mixed it with something.) Not to mention "pink pills for pale people," Wheaties, breakfast of champions, and Wonder Bread that built strong bodies 8 ways.
Meanwhile, when I speak of "gym culture" and reaching the masses, I mean the ordinary person, not just the babe in the speedo, but middle aged, middle class, and OLD age and "working class" who NOW go to a gym and regularly "work out."
That there was *a* health club chain" in 1870 is not this argument. I knew HUNDREDS, probably THOUSANDS of people and NONE of them went there. No college friend, no neighbor, no relative or colleague, not even a mere acquaintance belonged to a gym that I ever heard of.... until, oh maybe 1970 oe 80. True, there was "physical therapy" in cases of accident or illness or even congenital disability, but that's "medicine" not gym.
That various strategies were available to those who wished or needed them or had them prescribed, is simply not this discussion... & again 100% beside the point. Yes, my husband was in the army circa 1955 and had "basic training," ie, marching in the heat of some South Carolina bog until half of them passed out. That was NOT gym culture, and neither he nor any of his army buddies went anywhere near a "gym" voluntarily until much later (in fact that army experience probably innoculated them against it).
But I would gladly explain the meaning of language, including such terms such as "mass culture" and "mainstream" to your historian friend. If he shares your interpretation of this discussion, he clearly needs help.
PS. I probably read more books than your buddy and my father worked for the NY Times -- we had 3 newspapers in the house daily & I read many items BESIDES the funnies. I never heard of Annette Kellerman or Million Dollar Mermaid either (what could SHE do at a gym anyway? Ride the bicycle?)
On Sun, 2 Dec 2007, Gordon Cooper wrote:
Judy Seigel wrote: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.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.