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Which clippings match 'Fitness Equipment' keyword pg.1 of 1
19 APRIL 2014

Battle of The Bulges! 1941

"Various shots of gorgeous 1940s glamour girls in swimsuits and high heels using exercise machines in a gym. The machines are "the latest mechanised units" of the kind that massage away lumps and bumps (supposedly) on legs, tummies and bottoms. Great footage for showing exercising machines and typical 1940s swimsuits and hairstyles. Fast swing music on soundtrack.

Final shots show the girls using a variety of exercise apparatus including exercise bike, rowing machine and a kind of rotating tombola that seems to be massaging a girl's stomach and nether regions - fancy!"

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TAGS

1940s1941apparatusarchival materialBritish Pathecontraptionscultural heritageexercise apparatus • exercise cycle • exercise machine • fashion history • filmed news storiesfitness equipment • glamour girls • gym equipmentgymnasium • hairstyles • high heels • historic film • instruments of torture • keep fit machinery • keeping trim • massage away lumps and bumps • nether regions • newsreelquirky and unusual • rowing machine • short subjectssocial history • stomach • swimsuits • swimwear • swing music • titillation • tombola machine • toning machines • tummies • vibration plates • workout equipment

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 NOVEMBER 2008

From Machines That 'Work' on You to Machines That You 'Work' on

"The Swedish physician Gustav Zander's institute in Stockholm, founded in the late nineteenth century and stocked with twenty–seven of his custom–built machines, was the first "gym" in the sense that we know the word today. His mechanical horse was an early version of the Stairmaster, a contraption for cardiovascular fitness designed to imitate a "natural" activity. His stomach–punching apparatus evokes contemporary "ab–crunching" machines. What makes Zander so important, for anyone trying to trace the Cybex family tree, is what happened when his machines, created in a European cultural context, immigrated to the US in the early twentieth century. They are prototypes of the workout equipment now ubiquitous in American life.
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By the early twentieth century, extensive collections of Zander machines could be found at elite health spas such as Homestead in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and at private institutes such as the one Zander set up near Central Park in New York. Access to these health machines was a mark of status at the turn of the century. Health spas and gymnasia were not subsidised by the state as they were in Sweden, and the American working class would not have been able to afford the fees required to receive Zander treatments. Nor were the working class thought to need such treatments; their "hearty" bodies were not yet impaired by the sedentary habits of affluent modern life. In mechanised workouts, white–collar Americans pumped up their own superiority. By declaring that "fitness" equalled a perfectly balanced physique, rather than the ability to perform actual physical tasks, body power was shifted from labourers to loungers."

(Carolyn de la Peña, 2008, Cabinet Magazine)

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TAGS

2008apparatusbodycontraptioncorporeal • Cybex • exercise apparatusexercise machine • fitness • fitness equipmentgymgymnasiumhealthideal formkeep fit machinerymassage away lumps and bumpsmechanicalphysiologyphysique • spa • Swedentoning machinestreatment • workout • workout equipment • Zander

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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