Here's a quick look at The Gymnasium of the College of Physical Education in Bucharest, Romania. Their most well-known graduate is the famed gymnastic coach Bela Karolyi.
The French weightlifter Rene Duverger won the Gold in the lightweight class (67.5kg) at the 1932 Olympic games in Los Angeles, California. Duverger's total was 325kg on the day and comprised of a 97.5 kg press, a 102.5 kg snatch and a 125 kg clean and jerk.
The Billard Barbell Company, out of Reading, Pennsylvania, hit the scene in the early 1960's and featured their equipment primarily in department and sporting goods stores. If you got one of their weight sets, you also received this nifty training manual featuring Bruce Randall., the 1959 Mr. Universe winner. Randall made appearances at sporting good stores promoting and demonstrating Billard equipment.
Billard was actually the third barbell company based in Reading, PA (after the Good Barbell Company and the Reading Barbell Company.) In addition to weights, the Billard Barbell Company also boasted a national championship calibre softball team.
The great French strongman Tonitoff was the talk of the town when he performed in the Grand Circus Lenka during the 1896 season. He was billed as "The World's Strongest Man" and easily supported several thousand pounds on his shoulders as he walked around the arena.
A look at the medal platform for the 1956 Olympic Weightlifting Bantamweight class: American lifter Chuck Vinci took gold (with a 342.5 kg total ~ an Olympic record), Vladimir Stogov from the Soviet Union took the silver medal (with a 337.5 kg total) and Mahmoud Namdjou of Iran, took the bronze (with a 332.5 kg total).
Munich, Germany, March, 27th, 1954: Adolf Grenzebach, given moral support by members of a Bavarian Brass Band, lifts a 508 pound stone during a contest for the strongest man of the Bavarian capital. In the competition traditionally held during the "strong beer" season in the Spring, the one who lifts the stone the highest is declared the winner. Adolph won with an 11-inch lift. Mr. Grenzebach's talents also weren't limited to stone lifting, he was also an egg eating champion, downing 26 in 30 minutes.