The Three Jolly Germans by George F. Jowett

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The following is an article from George F. Jowett about the Saxon trio.

The Saxon Trio – what a name to conjure with – a name, to me, reminiscent of happy hours dramatized with amazing deeds of strength. Arthur, Herman and Kurt Saxon. Three brothers who represented altogether a mountain of colossal strength never surpassed. They lived to enjoy and demonstrate the great strength within them and ringed each day with such jollity that often caused the tears to run down the cheeks from convulsive merriment. Gentlemen always, but what boys – and how they loved their beer, especially Arthur. He would fill himself with enough ale to drown three men and just to show you how strong it made him he would bent press a bell anywhere from 300-lbs to 350-lbs and while holding it overhead would pour quart after quart of beer down his throat with the free hand. It never seemed to be any effort for him to juggle such a gigantic poundage, that is why his great feats of strength sound almost fabulous – but they are not – as I and many others can vouch for.

The Saxon Trio

The Saxon Trio

Arthur Saxon, like Sandow, made his great debut in London, England, at that time the Mecca of strong men. He had failed to draw Sandow into a contest and Sandow had failed to lift overhead with two hands the weight Arthur played with in his act with one hand. At this particular time he was touring the English music halls with his two brothers, with only moderate success, until fate took a hand in the game in the contents of a barrel of beer. On this particular occasion the Saxon boys had met some of the friends from the Rhineland and with song and beverage were celebrating the occasion. They forgot the passing of time until it was almost too late for the act, so they called a cab and into it they piled, laughing and shouting. The horse became frightened, almost ran away, with the driver hanging on for dear life. Oblivious of the amusement they were creating on the street with their leather throated singing, the Saxons pounded the floor of the cab with their feet until it was splintered completely away. Finally having no place to put their feet on they stepped through the broken floor of the cab onto the ground. Such a ludicrous scene is hard to describe, but on they marched with their feet on the ground and their bodies in the cab, singing hilariously the songs of the Vaterland. Crowds followed them roaring with laughter as Arthur, to lend emphasis to his song, grasped the sides of the cab and bounced it up and down as they stamped along. The poor cabby was scared stiff of their antics and great strength and wept at what was happening to his cab. Meanwhile, at the theater the manager was beside himself with distraction over the missing trio.

Attracted by the cheering of the great crowd now following the battered cab and the three jolly Germans, he hastened out to the front of the theater to see what it was all about and there saw the most remarkable sight of his life. Directly in front of the theater the Saxons ordered the cabby to stop and out they tumbled onto the pavement, from where Arthur delivered an oration inviting everyone to see the show.

Anticipating more fun the crowd poured in. That night the theater was overflowing with people who only waited for the Saxon act. Finally the curtain went up on the Saxon act, and onto the stage zigzagged Arthur, Herman and Kurt.

They opened their show tossing around a kettle bell of 180-lbs, which to the delight and consternation of the audience they tossed about with utter abandon and without any sense of direction. From one stunt to another they passed with devilish glee thrilling the crowd with emotion that soared from spasms of fright to ecstasies of sensation, until the time came for Arthur to do his big supporting feat.

Lying prone on his back with feet raised, Herman and Kurt slammed the long plank across Arthur’s feet. They next called for volunteers to be seated on the plank. Scores volunteered, all entering into the fun of the night. Without ceremony, Herman and Kurt working from each end, slammed their men on the seat with an awful whack, until the plank was crowded. Not satisfied Arthur yelled to pile them all on, and nothing lothe, Herman and Kurt began to load others onto the knees of those already seated on the plank. Naturally a limit was quickly reached, but in a way which made everyone scream with laughter. As many as possible piled onto the plank resting across Arthur’s feet. Then Herman and Kurt prepared to step onto the bar bell which Arthur was holding at arms length when the two brothers lurched – they each grabbed the nearest man on the plank – Arthur’s legs swayed – he lost his balance and the plank with everyone on it, along with Herman and Kurt, went tumbling over into the orchestra pit on top of the musicians. People all through the act had laughed till the tears ran down their cheeks, but this was too much – they went into hysterics and amidst the wildest scenes of hilarious disorder the curtain dropped and stopped the act. People never forgot it. Every night the theater was crowded to capacity. The Saxons doubled their bookings. They were from that time real headliners and started a road to success, which lasted for years. Today people still talk about that orgy of strength and the burlesque which attended the act and no wonder, for they had witnessed a series of feats of strength that have never been paralleled and perhaps will never be equaled.

For more on Saxon’s training methods click here.

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