eugen sandow was the most famous bodybuilder in the early days of the sport. born friederich wilhelm mueller on april 2, 1867 in prussia, he began his career as a sideshow strongman. eventually his "muscle displays" became the main feature of his stage show.
the source movie was made by w.k.l. dickson at thomas edison's black maria studio in 1894, and shows sandow demonstrating one of his muscle display performances. edison was just beginning to make motion pictures, and was fascinated with the musculature of the body and the human form in motion, making sandow's bodybuilding routines a natural subject.