In Just 7 Days, I Can Make You a Man!
When my father was a young man (probably late teens- early 20's), he ordered the Charles Atlas "Health & Strength" program. He was probably reading a comic book and saw the ad depicting a skinny kid having sand kicked on him by a muscle-bound guy. The kid in the ad ordered the program and came back as a muscle-bound stud and kicked the bullies ass! My Dad must've been inspired, so he ordered the Charles Atlas guide. Back then, if you decided to join Atlas's program, you paid a monthly payment. For each month that you made a payment you would receive an exercise guide. If you missed a payment, you missed out on that month's guide. My Dad was very determined and he made his payments each month, thus ending up with everything that Charles Atlas offered in his program.
Fast forward a few decades-- I was the 97 lb weakling being bullied at school. My father had saved the Charles Atlas guide and gave it to me, along with a barbell set. I lost the barbells years ago, but I still have the entire Charles Atlas set intact. I know it has some value and I've held onto it for all of these years for just that reason. Tonight I decided to check EBay and see if anyone else was selling the program. I found lots of people that had bits and pieces of it. Some were selling just the introduction letter, some had lessons 4-12. None of them had all of the lessons. I have everything-- all of the promotional letters, all of the ads, all of the exercise guides. I even have a couple of personal letters written from Charles Atlas to my father. All of these items date back to the 1940's.
If the "Antique Roadshow" ever comes to town, you can bet that I'll be standing in line with folder in hand. I'd love to get an appraisel on this collection.