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1941_06_21--009_SP [The Great Macfadden]

THE SATURDAY EVENING POST 11 erals necessary to health, and modern vitamin research has corroborated him. His fifty years' war against the milling industry ended last winter when the millers announced that they were putting the vitamins back in the white bread. After boycotting Macfadden for years, they began to advertise the "enriched" flour in his magazines. This, Macfadden said, was "the dream of my life come true." But while he hit upon the vitamin value of whole-wheat flour, he missed it in the case of cod-liver oil. The only value of cod-liver oil, he asserted, was the exercise it caused the facial muscles through the grimaces made in swallowing it. When Macfaddenl was fifteen, a friend took him to a Turnverein in St. Louis. Young Bernarr went mad over it. He could hardly wait to finish his daily work, so he could get to the gymnasium. He became a weight lifter, a professional wrestler and a "professor," or physical director. Macfadden was twenty-five when the next great change came into his life. He went to the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893 and came under the influence of the great showman, Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr., who was then glorifying Sandow, the Strongest Man in the World during good behavior; from time to time Ziegfeld had to demote him for insubordination. What fascinated Macfadden was Ziggy's lighting effects; the showman doubled the size of Sandow's muscles by high lights and black shadows. Though only a welterweight himself, Macfadden began to imitate Sandow's poses as Hercules, Atlas, Ajax and Samson. In 1893, F. W. Guerin, a St. Louis photographer, made a series of studies of "Prof. B. McFadden in Classical Poses." Macfadden first used these photos in a pamphlet advertising a patent elastic exerciser of his own invention. He used them again in another pamphlet advertising a gymnasium which he opened just off Broadway in New York. He used them again for another pamphlet in England, where he gave his imitations of Sandow and sold his patent exercisers. As one advertising pamphlet succeeded another, Macfadden discovered that he was getting out a magazine without knowing it. So he charged five cents a copy for it and called it Physical Culture. The first issue was March, 1899. impaired the gray matter. The poetry of Alexander Pope was one of the exhibits of Brisbane, who wrote: Pope, wonderful pygmy. He had a maid to dress and to lace him up in his canvas jacket. Weak as a shrimp—but what persistent, ceaseless brain power—all his strength went there. Macfadden was furious. He took the field with an array of mental and physical giants which included Washington, Lincoln, Gladstone, William Cullen Bryant, William Jennings Bryan and Tom Reed, of Maine. Following up the onslaught on Brisbane, Macfadden printed article after article describing men who became geniuses through exercise. The editor was not always fortunate in his selection of exhibits; one of his examples of athletic statesmanship was Boies Penrose, notoriously the When Physical Culture had become a huge success he still walked eighteen miles barefoot to his office daily. WIDE WORLD The founder of the "I'm-Ruined! I'm-Ruined!" school of literature at his desk in the early True Story period. Macfadden started the magazine on a shoestring. His original plant consisted of desk room at ten dollars a month. He wrote all his articles in longhand, signing several names. He illustrated the front covers with the old photos of "Prof. B. McFadden in Classical Poses." On one cover is " The Editor as David; the Academy, Florence;" on another, " The Editor as The Boxer; the Vatican, Rome." On one he is a 145-pound Hercules with club; on another he is a welterweight Samson tearing to pieces a welterweight lion. Editor Macfadden maintained that exercise was good for the mind as well as the body. In his first issue of Physical Culture he wrote an essay under the title Can a Weak Mind be Made Strong? Regular daily exercise, he reported, strengthens the mental faculties. The first of Macfadden's innumerable journalistic controversies started when Arthur Brisbane wrote an editorial entitled Muscle is Bad for the Brain. Brisbane did not assert that all physical exercise was injurious, but that an excess of brawn biggest eater and drinker in Washington; another was Chauncey M. Depew, author of the statement that "I get my exercise by acting as pallbearer for my friends who exercise." On the whole, Macfadden demonstrated that he was a persuasive writer. His cause suffered, however, from the illustrations in Physical Culture. He printed a series of poses by other "professors" and professional strong men. They are shown swelling their muscles and straining their lungs to the utmost, with the wild stare of an educated horse doing arithmetic. It seemed clear that exercise had not caused them to forge ahead intellectually. A Battle of Prophets MACFADDEN demonstrated his business genius by throwing open the columns of Physical Culture to his rivals. Instead of being a Macfadden advertising pamphlet, it became the mouthpiece of the physical-culture-and-nature-cure movement. Any good health prophet could have his day in court in Physical Culture. Although himself a champion of distilled water at room temperature, he allowed an opposing teacher to assert that distilled water was " dead " (Continued on Page 97)


1941_06_21--009_SP [The Great Macfadden]
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