For me Thomas Topham was one of the first physical culturists, there were a lot of strongmen or indian fakirs in the east but I don't know many other strongmen from the 1700s performing feats in front of audiences in Europe without trickery, this guy really was something special.
There is an article about him here
https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/585 ... -strongman
Join the Discussion Group! We invite you to share your comments, insights and questions on the History of Physical Culture.
Moderator: peter yates