Samuel J. McMillan, the strongman                                                             Home

Here was a man so marvelously strong that his feats surpassed that of Hercules - to say nothing about Samson and more
modern lights of lesser brilliancy. Just imagine, if you can, a being of such predigious strength and remarkable anotomy that
with a single blow of his fist, protected only by a hankerchief, he was able to drive a sixty-penny nail through a two-inch scant-
ling. Morever, to make the matter still more wonderful, he could draw the nail out again or break it off with his teeth. He was but
33 and could perform marvels that surpassed the combined effort of six men - he has gradually realised his superhuman strength.
Now this man was no fable but actual hard, solid fact of flesh and blood. His weight was 215 pounds; height 5feet 10inches;
forearm 17 and a half inches, biceps 17inches and neck 19inches. With a rod of 10 feet long and one and one-eighth inches
in diameter balanced in his mouth, he braced himself  squarely on his legs and then allowed the rod to be bent by the combined
effort of eight men - four on either end. The only paraphernalia used, as can be seen from the photograph, was a simple piece of
leather to prevent injury to the mouth and teeth from contact with the rough iron.
It is generally considered a most difficult trick to tear in two a deck of cards. McMillan put three decks together and with bare
hands, not only tore them in half, but quartered them as well. He could hold up with one hand a fifty-two gallon cask with two
men seated thereon, in all a weight of 450 pounds. With his head on one chair and his feet on another he formed a human bridge
capable of sustaining as many men as could be piled upon him. His horseshoe feat was more extroadinary, He took the best
no.2 horseshoe and tore it apart by sheer strength of hand.

He was a blacksmith by trade, did not believe in training, nor in the usual exercises of the athlete.



Used his mouth as vise to bend half-inch rod

Used his head to bend half-inch rod

Driving spike in two-inch scantling by sheer force of arm and bare hand

Source. San Francisco Call, Volume 86, Number 53, 23 July 1899