Carl (Johann Theodor) Abs

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Carl Abs, The German Oak

Carl Abs
Carl Abs, The German Oak

From “Mighty Men of Old” Vol. I (n.d.) (Author unknown)

“They called Carl Abs the “GERMAN OAK, and rightly so, for the early weightlifter and wrestler, a former carpenter, won both the lifting and grappling titles of Germany.  He was born in Mecklenburg in 1851 and didn’t start wrestling till 31 years of age and at  33 tried his hand at lifting.  He should set an example for those who think one should start (and finish) their sports early.

Abs weighed 245 pounds, stood 5 ft 11 in tall, had a 49 in. chest and 17 in biceps.  In 1885, after only training a short while, he held two world’s records a continental and jerk at 331 and a one hand press of 242 He muscled out 88 pounds in each hand and performed three military presses one hand with 110 pounds.  For a while he went on the stage and his best stunt was the lifting of an elephant weighing 1½ tons with the aid of a harness.

Carl Abs’ daughter was considered the strongest woman in the world and with her father presented one of the most sensational sets on the stage.

(c)Mighty Men of Old

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