Books are Full of Visual Gems: 19th Century home exercise edition!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 11:41 AM

It may come as no surprise to the book nerds out there (you know who you are) that the annals of written history are full of visual gems.

When you come across something interesting in a public domain title that has been scanned via our Library Project, you can easily add it to your own website or blog. Simply snag the chunk of text or image using our Share this Clip feature in Google Books () and copy and paste the Embed HTML code onto your site.

It's hard to believe, but we're already a few weeks into 2010. For many folks, a new year means the creation of New Year's resolutions. Though I usually don't bother coming up with my own, I used January 1, 2010 as my excuse to get back to the gym. I was never much of an athlete, but so far I've stuck to my resolution to run a few miles a few times a week.

For a historical perspective on my little project, I went on Google Books and started digging up home exercise and workout manuals from the end of the 19th century. Turns out the fundamentals of weight training haven't changed much in 100 years, although I usually don't go running in a three-piece suit and handlebar mustache. I used the Clip feature in Google Books to collect these images and diagrams. Simply click any image to read the original book source!

[Please note, some content may not be available in full view to users outside of the United States.]

"A manual of the theory and practice of the lifting exercise" - 1871

"A system of physiologic therapeutics" by Solomon Solis-Cohen - 1904

"Health Habits" by M. V. O'Shea and J. H. Kellogg - 1921

"Physical Culture: A Manual of Home Exercise" - 1892

Home gymnastics for the sick and the well" by Eduard Ferdinand Angerstein - 1889

"Calisthenics and light gymnastics for home and school" by Alfred M. A. Beale & Samuel M. Spedon - 1888


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