Not Strong Enough

by M-Rebeiro

Breitbart once had three tombstones placed on his chest while two men hammered away with sledgehammers.

Siegmund Breitbart was a Polish-born strongman who became an American citizen in 1923. His various feats of strength were mostly modeled around his background as a blacksmith. He would bend metal bars into floral patterns, bite through iron chains, break a horseshoe in half and for one trick, drove an iron spike through 5 one-inch oak boards using only his hands. A certain performance of this last trick would lead to his death at the age of 42.

The trick in question was traditionally done with the boards placed on his legs, however he miscalculated and rather than the railroad spike coming out between his legs it impaled one of his knees. The wound quickly became infected, leading to blood poisoning. Despite receiving amputations to stem the infection, he died after eight weeks.

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Siegmund Breitbart
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