A Very Unfun-Looking Victorian Exercise Machine

1800s chest developing machine

Has an exercise machine ever looked more like a devise for torture?

Even better, this particular exercise machine is for developing the chest, according to this 1896 issue of Scientific American Supplement. You should really give it a read — click on it below and then click on it again to enlarge. It’s interesting that in 1896 they seem as concerned about people in sendentary professions as we are.

Also, you need to get a closer look at the machine captioned “vibrations in the saddle.” There is no indication what muscle groups this helps….
Scientific American Supplement

These machines are the work of Gustav Zander, who “is known for inventing a therapeutic method of exercise carried out by means of a special apparatus,” according to Wikipedia.

Sounds to me like he’s the inventor of the exercise machine!

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