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Equipment Question For:

Tom of Iowa2

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Settle a bet for me?

How long have the 7ft olympic style bars,with 51 to 53 inches from inside collar to inside collar,with 2 inch loading areas (at the end)been around?

I think i read they've pretty much been in use from the mid thirties and on?

My friend says they came out with these style of bars in the 50's??

Any of you guys know or have a good idea?


Edited by Tom of Iowa2
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That would be approx. 'mid 1930's'....so i guess I'm pretty close.If anyone has a 'link' to info on the development/history of this early lifting bar i would appreciate it.

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According to Gottfried Schodl in THE LOST PAST, A Story of the International Weightlifting Federation, a man named Veltum by 1910 had 'submitted the drafts and detailed sketches of a new construction for the first time envisaging a revolving

bar with bearings.' It was ready by January 1911 and Karl Swoboda managed 185.6 kilos in the clean and jerk.

I do not know the dimensions of that bar, but by 1924 at the Paris Congress a distance of 1.25m between the discs was established.

Steinborn brought to America a Berg Hantel (Hantel means barbell) and it is said the York people 'borrowed' its dimensions.

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The first York Olympic revolving barbell was in 1927. The first such bell made for the public was 1929, the second set was made in 1930, and by 1938 more than 1,000 sets had been made. By December 1939 the cost was still only $60 (sixty dollars).

1934 a 250 lb set was $45, a 300 lb set was $52.50, and a 360 lb set, $75.

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Joe, great info except for one minor detail. Swoboda did a continental & jerk not a clean & jerk, with that 185.6 kg (409 lb ). It was on November 4, 1911 in Vienna, at age 29, 5'10, 325, for you trivia buffs. My source: David Willoughby in the "Super Athletes". Great book. Got a couple extra for sale if anyone wants one. :)

Edited by oldtimer
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OMG... 5'10" and 325#... :ohmy:blink

Needless to say, a strong gust of wind won't be blowing him down anytime soon! :happy

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  • 3 weeks later...


Just now re-read this thread- thanks for the correction- something I knew but somehow slipped by anyway, as things are seeming to do more and more these days.

Anyway, I appreciate your kind correction indicating it was a minor matter, but

it was not minor- huge difference between clean and cont. as you well know.

That's what I like about posting here, working together we can get these matters


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