Earle E. Liederman Muscular Development Course Complete with Twenty (20) Photo-Cards


Liederman, Earle E. (1888-1970)

Out of stock


Liederman, Earle E. (1888-1970). Earle E. Liederman Muscular Development Course Complete with Twenty (20) Photo-Cards. Brooklyn, New York: Earle E. Liederman, 1923. First Edition, First Printing. 8vo. The first iteration of the enormously popular mail order ‘Muscular Development Course’ developed by the controversial Liederman in the early 20’s. Our offering comprises of the rare complete series of twenty letters covering a total ten “exercises”, two full pages of illustrations, and twenty postcard-sized photo cards depicting Liederman demonstrating a variety of movements and exercises. All of the letters bear a photograph in black and white of Liederman to the upper left corner accompanied with his signature letterhead which reads: “Earle – E. – Liederman, America’s Leading Director of Physical Education”, and subtitled: “Expert Instruction in Boxing, Wrestling and Physical Development” with his address and contact details listed as: “305-309 Broadway, New York City, Phone: 6714 WORTH.” In near fine condition with only a page or two which show the occasional short closed tear, or chip to the corners; postcards remain in near fine condition. A fascinating record of early American fitness history, and exceedingly scarce in commerce in this condition and as a complete set. Unrecorded in OCLC. Born in Brooklyn in October of 1888, Liederman was the son of poor immigrant Swedish parents, and the product of New York City schools, where he excelled in sports. He was a vaudeville strongman and also served as a “physical culture specialist” for the New York Board of Education. That he was a sincere bodybuilder (and an early practitioner of scientific weight lifting) and a devotee of the physical arts is unquestioned. He authored numerous books on the subject, including Muscular Development, The Science of Wrestling, The Art of Jiu-Jitsu, and Muscle Building. Body-building historian David L. Chapman writes that Liederman, like Charles Atlas who followed him, made millions “selling a cure for insecurity in the guise of muscle building. He appealed to a lot of nervous and self-conscious men who felt like they were doing something about their poor appearance and self-esteem by waving their arms around and running in place. It was little more than a scam. Like many in the 1920s Liederman promised much more than he could possibly deliver.” Card Covers. (#1591) $345.00