The Early Cinema

 

Strong-man Eugene (Eugen) Sandow poses in a long shot on a bare stage against a black background, wearing only tight trunks and laced sandals.

This film, estimated to be from 1896 or 1897, is one of the earliest projected films. Sandow was a famous strongman: according to vaudeville historian Joe Laurie, Jr., Sandow--who was managed by Flo Ziegfeld--was "the greatest of the strong men and who received the most publicity"

The film captures some of the flavor of the male world of the turn of the century, when Sandow and men like John L. Sullivan established the form and character of masculinity