Extremely strong ladies.

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie


ladies are often called the weaker sex and no one frowns at it, but there were women who stood their "man" and actually, more than their man! Very, really very much more than their man. A dive into ancient history brings them back in all their glory.

photo from 1905) Luisita Krokel

Luisita Leers. Luise (Krokel) was born in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1909. She was a physically powerful woman and gained fame with elegant and unusual aerial acrobatic acts and with power actors.



Luisita never knew her biological father, who left the family when she was two years old. Her mother remarried with Guido Krokel, an aerial contortionist. Guido provided Luisita's artistic training without too much tenderness and made her an exceptionally strong female athlete who could hold several exhibitions in the Leers-Arvellos group. Luisita made her professional debut at the age of 11, on March 8, 1920 in Cologne (Koln), in collaboration with the group on the Roman rings (live chain of aerial acrobats).

Many testeron swallowing bodybuilder in my gym would want to develop such a muscle mass.



(Abbye "Pudgy" Stockton early half of the 1900's)

Abbye Eville was born on August 11, 1917 and moved to Santa Monica, California, in 1924. She was nicknamed "Pudgy" as a child and the name remained, although she weighed about 57 pounds with a length of 157. She fell in love with UCLA student Les Stockton during her last year of high school and they married in 1941.


Stockton and her husband were frequent visitors to Muscle Beach, where they mainly worked on acrobatics and gymnastics. One of their most famous achievements was Pudgy, who served as the "pillar", and supported Les (100 kilos) in her hand with support. Pudgy soon became a favorite in the media and was included in the illustrations in Life, Pic and Laff. She has also appeared in the Whatta Build and Muscle Town USA newspapers, as well as in advertisements for Ritamine Vitamin Company and the Universal Camera Company. She estimated that she was on the cover of forty-two magazines by the end of the 1940s (Todd, 1999). She posed with many of the best male bodybuilders of the time, including John Grimek and Steve Reeves.



  (Athleta Van Huffelen, c. 1890s)

Athleta Van Huffelen, who was born in Belgium, was, just like her contemporaries, a real showwoman. When her career began at the age of 18 in 1886, she not only lifted ordinary weights on stage, but also horses, heavy vessels and members of the public, and she bent horseshoes and rail bolts.

A characteristic part of her act was the walzing with three men in balance on her shoulders. Once, she lifted 102 kilos with one arm above her head, a personal record.

Moreover, she was a top female wrestler competing with other women, and according to the standards of the day she was considered a breathtaking beauty. Later the act included her daughters Anna, Brada and Louise, who also did power stunts. In 1908, shortly after her retirement, Athleta's biceps were still more than 31 centimeters. After their mother left the stage, the three daughters continued to perform in the Folies Bergère in Paris.



(Frances “Athelda” Rheinlander)

Frances was born in Manchester (England), her real name was Frances Rheinlander. Her height was 170 cm and she weighed 75 kg. Athelda performed in various music halls in England in the decade of 1910, where she became known for exceptional power lifting and carrying weights and people (4 adults above her head).



                                    (Joan Rhodes)

Joan Rhodes (April 13, 1921 - May 30, 2010) was a London-born British artist, wrestler, stunt woman, and strong woman. Born in poverty in London, she and her brothers and sisters were abandoned by their parents. After unfortunate times in the workhouse and with an aunt, she left the house at the age of 14. After sleeping on Sergio Brewer Street, she joined a traveling funfair, where she got the idea for her act after seeing a professional strong man at work.

She started in the fifties and sixties as a kind of comedian. Her popularity increased due to her early appearances on TV shows in the US and the UK, including The Toast Of The Town (1955) and the Bob Hope Christmas Show.

Rhodes could bend iron bars over her knee, in her mouth and around her arm or neck. She tore telephone directories in two, often tore two at a time. She lifted large men above her head or in her arms, including 220 kilos of boxer Ewart Potgeiter and giant Ted Evans, who allegedly weighed more than 240 kilos.

She ended her act regularly by lifting four male viewers simultaneously. Other parts of her stage routine include allowing men to attempt to bend iron bars before doing so, wrestling with two men at the same time (one with each hand) and where each man was allowed to use two arms), jeeps and small cars lifted by her while men were in it, and beating a team of four men with tug of war



                               (Kate Williams. a.k.a Vulcana in 1900)

Kate Williams (1874 - 1946), sometimes called Kate Roberts, better known under her stage name Vulcana, was a strong woman born to Irish parents in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire.

With strongman William Hedley Roberts, better known as Atlas, she toured music venues in Great Britain, Europe and Australia; the pair performed as The Atlas and Vulcana Group of Society Athletes.

Vulcana reached the height of its popularity in France, impressed the Halterophile Club de France with its strength and earned a medal from the "Father of French bodybuilding", professor Edmond Desbonnet and a cover photo of La Santé par les Sport. She was honored with more than a hundred medals during her career.

Her best-rated performance was curved press with her right hand of at least 120 kg, with authorities accepting a 66 kg press and an overhead lift weighing 110 kg in each hand.

She lifted a car stuck in the mud in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London in October 1901 by lifting it up in ront of astonished witnesses.

Authorities believe Vulcana reached the peak of its strength around 1910.

In 1888, at the age of thirteen, she put a runaway horse in Bristol. She saved two children from drowning in the Usk River in July 1901, for which she received a prize in gratitude.
On June 4, 1921, the Garrick Theater in Edinburgh caught fire on an evening of the performance of the Society Athletes. Vulcana risked her life to save the horses of another act and suffered severe burns on her head. For this she won praising words and an award.

In 1902, Punch reported that Vulcana had taken out a pickpocket who was trying to steal her handbag.

Vulcana and Atlas moved permanently to London in the 1920s, and stopped performing in 1932.



                               (Katharina Brumbach, a.k.a Katie Sandwina)

Katie Sandwina (1884 - January 21, 1952), born Katharina Brumbach in Vienna, Austria, was a circus-strong woman.

Katie Brumbach was one of the fourteen children of the circus artists Philippe and Johanna Brumbach. In her early years, Katie performed with her family. Katie's father would offer a hundred marks to every man in the audience who could beat her in wrestling; no one has ever succeeded in winning the prize. It was during such a performance that Katie met her husband, Max Heymann.

Brumbach once defeated the famous strongman Eugene Sandow in a weightlifting competition in New York City. Katie lifted a weight of 150 kg above her head, which Sandow could only lift to his chest. After this victory, she took the stage name 'Sandwina' as a female derivative of Sandow.

Sandwina worked in the United States for many years with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, until she was almost 60. One of her standard performances was lifting her husband (who weighed 90 kg) with one hand with her head. She performed many other achievements, such as bending steel bars and resisting the pull of four horses


                                               (Laverie Vallee, ca. 1900's)

Laverie Vallee (born as) Cooper (July 18, 1875 - February 6, 1949), best known under her stage name Charmion, was an American vaudeville-trapeze artist and strong woman whose well-published suggestive performance was filmed in 1901.

A resident of Sacramento, Charmion built her act around a memorable routine that opened with her arrival on stage dressed in full Victorian attire.


Then between the movements high in the air, she stripped.

Charmion performed a version of this then-risque striptease for a short Edison film, "Trapeze Disrobing Act", on November 11, 1901. In addition, she also lifted men and a canon that she carried around her neck and she juggled cannon balls.


Mildred Bliss (5 August 1915 - 18 February 1989), better known as  Mildred Burke, ring name, was an American professional wrestler.

Burke is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame as legacy inductee, professional wrestling Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame. Her flowering period lasted from the mid-thirties to the mid-fifties, when she held the NWA Women's World Championship for almost twenty years. Burke started in 1935 and wrestled men during the carnival. She was trained by her second husband, promoter Billy Wolfe.

Mildred Burke, 15 years old, started working as a waitress at the Zuni Indian Reservation in Gallup, New Mexico. She lived there for three years before leaving for Kansas City after she agreed to marry her boyfriend. He took her to a professional wrestling event, which sparked her interest in the sport. Burke, who was pregnant at the time, became obsessed with the sport

Before wrestling, she was a stenographer of the office during the day, had excellent muscle development and hoped to become a professional wrestler. Locally, Billy Wolfe was training aspiring professional wrestlers. In the beginning, Wolfe Burke did not want to train her and ordered a male wrestler to give her a body slam so that she would stop training. Burke, however, instead performed a body slam on the man, which resulted in Wolfe agreeing to train her. Wolfe taught her and realized that she was the prospect he was waiting for. She changed her name to Mildred Burke and defeated Clara Mortenson for the Women's World Championship in January 1937.

What else can be said, except there are countless ladies who have not yet passed the lime light, perhaps I'll find time to do so, but it may be clear that the term  'weaker gender' does not apply to the forementioned ladies.

San Daniel 2020



        Todd, Jan, "The Legacy of Pudgy Stockton", Iron Game History,

  1. Elizabeth Sanderson (27 December 2009). "The extraordinary story of Joan Rhodes, the vaudeville strongwoman who shared a waspish correspondence with Quentin Crisp"
  2. Koenig, Rhoda (2005-03-30), "Tearing off a strip"
  3. Webster, David P. (May–June 2000), "The Atlas and Vulcana Group of Society Athletes
  4. "Mildred Burke Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum Entry"
  5. Julie Carft (July 29, 1989). "Image is Heavy Burden - Weightlifter Karyn Marshall
23/01/2020 21:54

Reacties (4) 

28/01/2020 14:48
Geweldig, snap alleen niet wat mensen daar nou aan vinden, maar goed wie ben ik !
24/01/2020 12:16
Kanjers bestaan!
25/01/2020 08:20
absoluut en je moet ze niet tegenspreken.. anders .....
23/01/2020 23:30
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