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From “Mighty Men of Old” Vol. I (n.d.) (Author unknown)
"The greatest hand-balancer and gymnast in the world was the American,
Prof. P.H. Paulinetti. No one has ever duplicated his one arm planche
which he performed by first doing a one hand stand then slowly lowering
himself into the “planche,” keeping the supporting arm out perfectly
Paulinetti started his career at the age of ten as a
dancer but a broken knee forced him to quit. He took to hand-balancing
as a recreation but advanced so rapidly he made it his career. He
received top billing for over thirty years.
Like his “planche”
no one ever duplicated his headstand performed with hands at the side
and feet together. Later, he learned to balance like this on a
rotatable pedestal and keep his body turning round and round by turning
Paulinetti’s first professional appearance was on a
stage in Germany. The audience laughed in derision when he was
introduced as an extraordinary hand-balancer, for the Teutons had been
accustomed to seeing their balancers muscular and husky and here was a
man weighing about 125 pounds! However, after a few minutes of the
Paulinetti balancing their tune changed and they loudly acclaimed him
again and again the greatest in the world!
Today, living in
Philadelphia, he still does some balancing although 77 years old, and
operates one of the finest gymnastic schools in America and one of his
star pupils is Robert L. Jones, considered by many to be the best today.
Jones has mastered many of the Paulinetti secrets and he was the first
man to perform a “thumb-stand".
(c)Mighty Men of Old
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