A bit on finger lifting from George F. Jowett, circa, 1924:
"So far as lifting weights with the fingers goes, I believe that Warren
Lincoln Travis is the best man in the world. He certainly is the best that I
ever met, in raising weights off the floor with the aid of his fingers. I
have seen him make several big lifts with two fingers, but the best he ever
did was the time he celebrated his fiftieth birthday, when he raised the
terrific weight of eight hundred and eighty-one and one-half pounds, using
just one finger of each hand. I was the referee on that occasion, and was
proud to see Travis raise the world's record so high.
On the one finger lift,
he has done around five hundred and sixty pounds, while John Pagano has also
raised over five hundred pounds with one finger. The lift is not made with
the bare finger, as you are no doubt aware. The finger could not grasp the
object to lift it. The middle finger is used, and on it the lifter fits an
iron eye that has a hook attached, which grabs the object to be lifted. It
is necessary that the eye should fit tightly upon the finger up at the first
joint, as close to the knuckle of the hand as possible, as the finger is
crooked, the eye locks thereon. Just the same it has to be raised off the
floor, and that takes power. The ligament of that finger becomes very thick.
In some cases, I have seen it become so thick that it made the finger
crooked. A few years ago I met an old Swedish lifter who had quit the
profession, but in his day was claimed to be a great finger lifter. I
remember quite well that the middle finger of his right hand was almost twice
as large as any of his other fingers, just from practicing that lift."
Unfortunately we don't know the gent pictured above but he has a pretty sweet setup, and that barrel, if filled completely, must weigh somewhere between 300-400lbs. which makes a very worthy feat.