The Pasquali Brothers, late 19th century

The Pasquali Brothers, late 19th century

The Pasquali Brothers
Late 19th century
Black and white photograph

The muscular Pasquali Brothers were one of many strongman acts on the music hall circuits. Combining their power with acrobatic skills must have increased their popularity. Strongmen always went down well with audiences. There was plenty for women to admire, and men to strive for. The training they did to get their muscular physiques was the forerunner of today's huge fitness industry.  Some of those early pioneers influenced the development of formal strength training. Such techniques are now part of everyday life for all professional sportspeople, as well as many amateurs. One of the earliest showmen to gain international fame with a strongman act was Felice Napoli. He was an Italian circus and fairground performer, born in 1820. The Pasquali Brothers may not have been Italian at all. However, in this particular form of entertainment an appropriate name could help an act be  accepted by an audience that wanted novelty mixed with tradition.