All posts by Vintage Weights

Matysek Dumbbell

Matysek 1Matysek 2

The Matysek Dumbbell is 11 inches long, weighs approx 8 LBS empty and has a 7/8 inch hole to allow a pair of these dumbbells to be attached to a bar. This can be seen in the photo “Exercise lll”

Anton Matysek, 1892-1963, won the ” Strongest Man in America” award in 1922. He was also a professional strongman on stage.

One of his specialties  was a one hand lift of a  custom bicycle that held ” three furious peddling  riders” This can be seen in the Milo ad.

Matysek was the most famous of  the Milo students.

In Alan Calvert’s book “Super-Strength” Matysek is pictured on the front piece.

Like other strongmen of the time he published a book on “Muscle Control” and also had mail order body building courses in the 1920s.

For 10 cents you were sent a 48 page booklet “The Road to Success” His business walocated in Baltimore MD

.Matysek 9Matysek 7Matysek 10


Strongman 20 Strongman 8 These plates have a couple of interesting things about them. The misspellings you can see. The other thing, you wonder why  they weigh about half of the weight marked on each plate.  It also looks as though they may not have been made at the same time? If you have any information about these plates please leave a comment.Stongman 15 Stongman 15 green

The Automatic Exerciser & Monarch Bell

Ad for Prof schmidtKettlebell by Prof A P SchmidtAutomatic Exerciser by Prof A P SchmidtProf Schmidt Pat DateProf Barker advert.

Professor A P Schmidt claimed anyone could use his Automatic Exerciser. That you could not out grow it because the globe on the end could be filled to make it heavier  and the bar the globe rested on could be adjusted in or out to change the difficulty  of raising  the Exerciser. This can be seen in the ads. He also included  “Free of charge for a limited time only”, sound like today’s ads ?, “his new  and improved Monarch Combination Bell.” There are four different weight adjustable bells.

One bell can be seen in the  photo. This all sold for $ 15.00. There are ads very similar to the ones seen here in the 1910 issues of Physical Culture and The Saturday Evening Post Magazines. There were several models of the Automatic Exerciser over time.

.Schmidt Machine article


There are also smaller Zuver’s Gym plates of 35 lbs., 25 lbs., 10 lbs., 5 lbs., and 2-1/2 lbs. They have become very collectible and sought after, sometimes selling as high as $40.00 per pound at auction.

As a Zuver, I’m flattered that my dad’s Dream Plates have become so cherished among vintage iron collectors. I’m proud to say the 45 lb. plates pictured here are in the collection of the Great Gripster, Richard Sorin, and are on display at his Sorinex Facility in S. C.

The photo with the Reserved sign shows Zuver Plates being used as paper weights on Richard Sorin’s desk.

These, along with the famous Zuver’s Hall of Fame Gym Muscle Plates have become, to many, great iron symbols of the muscle world.

Gotta love ’em.

Robert Zuver


Vintage Zuver’s Hall Of Fame Muscle Plates


Thought I would submit a little History about the Famous Vintage Zuver's Hall Of Fame Muscle Plates for your members.
It started in the early 1960's when a unknown Bodybuilder by the name of Bob Zuver opened a small gym in a little town called Costa Mesa Ca. Back then there weren't many Gyms on the west coast and Bob wanted to build a Gym far ahead of its time. And so he did. In fact he built what has been referred to as The Disneyland of The Muscle World. Everything needed to be the Biggest and the Best. 
So one day watching the big guys loading an Olympic bar with the standard Zuver's 45lbs pound plates it dawned on him that adding up a bunch of 45s was a bit much for some of the boys at the time. 
So he thought WHY!, 50lbs plates would be much better, BUT why stop there. Why not 50lb, 100lb, 150lb, and YES, even 200 Pound Plates. Yes that's right I said 200 pounders Each.
Bob wanted his plates to be very special so he got together with Artist Eric Askew and molded a special clay model of the awesome Zuver's Plate as per Bob's vision.
From there an Aluminum Pattern Mold was made and all the Zuver Muscle Plates were Casted at Bell Foundry. Known now as BFCO.
Not only were these the first 50lbs Plates made but also the heaviest plates made in the 1960s.
They have now become the most Rare and most Sought after Plates in the World.
The photos show the original aluminum mold and a pic of each of the four Vintage Hall Of Fame Gym Plates. These plates are not for sale.  Hope you enjoyed this little piece of Vintage History.
Robert Zuver


SID's 50lb

This 50 lb  plate is part of what Sid Teeples called Sid’s System, which was established in 1921. He included instruction courses with the purchase of his weightlifting equipment. He also had Sid’s News which had a circulation of 2,500 according to his ad which also showed a list of So. Calif. Weightlifters Schedule of Events for 1948 – 49. His ads state that all his barbell and dumbbell rods are 1″ in diameter. The plate shown must have been drilled out to fit an olympic bar.

He also envisioned a Health Resort and Mail Order Headquarters near Indo, Calif. He asked for donations to build this Health Resort. The donors could use the resort and profit from others  who paid to use the resort for health instruction or rest.

Eustace Miles Dumb Bell

Eustace Miles Dumb Bells



REGISTERED  No 491250 on the weight end of the dumb bell.  The registry number was issued in 1906. Each weight is appox. 3 lbs  11 ounces. Top to bottom measures 7.25 ” and  is 5.75 inches wide.

His book ” The Eustace Miles System of Physical Culture ” has a chapter on using them
which includes drawings showing swinging, jumping, hopping and skipping with the dumb bells.
Some of these exercises and the book’s cover  and dumb bells are shown here. He was a Cambridge educated health guru. He and his wife Hallie operated a restaurant . He also won a silver medal for tennis at the 1908 Olympics, was prolific author with titles like “Comparative Syntax of Greek & Latin VOL. 1 & 2”, “Mathematical Law in the Spiritual World”. Many of his books are available on Amazon. He was born 1868 died 1948.


Eustace Miles Literature

                    Eustace Miles Literature

Eustace Miles Literature

Eustace Miles Literature

MIles in his  Charing Cross restaurant. The woman in the photo is not identified.

MIles in his Charing Cross restaurant. The woman in the photo is not identified.