Guide to the Ernest Edwin Coffin Collection

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1152
Creators:
Brooks, Warwick
Coffin, Ernest Edwin
Steckel, Geo. (George), 1864-
Falk, B. J. (Benjamin J.), 1853-1925
Sandwina, Katie
Weider, Joe (author)
Weston, Arthur
Sarony, Napoleon, 1821-1896
Manhart, Harrison D., II
Dates:
1889-1954
Languages:
English
Some materials in French.
Physical Description:
11.5 Cubic feet
26 boxes
Repository:
The collection documents Eugen Sandow and other bodybuilders through correspondence and photographs.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection contains original and copy photographs of Eugen Sandow and other bodybuilders and actors, by well known photographers Warwick Brooks, Napoleon Sarony, Benjamin J. Falk, George Steckel, and others; correspondence with well-known bodybuilders such as Joe Weider and Katie Sandwina; and periodicals and books about Sandow.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is divided into four series.
Series 1: Background Materials, 1894-1958
Series 2: Correspondence, 1902-1954
Series 3: Publications, 1926-03-1955-01
Series 4: Photographs, 1889-1952

Biographical
Biographical
Ernest Edwin Coffin (1898-1954) was a California amateur bodybuilder, and weightlifter and collector of bodybuilding memorabilia, especially on the subject of Eugen Sandow. Coffin considered himself the world's expert on "Sandowania" and spent over 40 years writing and collecting memorabilia about Sandow as well as other strongmen such as Joe Weider, Milo Steinborn, and Katie Sandwina.
Born Frederich Muller (1867-1925) in Konigsberg, Prussia, Muller emigrated to England in 1889 and become a citizen in 1906. Muller adopted the stage name of Eugen Sandow and ran several schools of physical culture, performed, lectured, and wrote about strength amd mental and physical health. Sandow toured the United States in 1893 with his manager, Florenz Ziegfeld, the "Follies" showman. Sandow's first American appearance was at the World's Fair in Chicago where he was an instant success. Ziegfeld marketed Sandow as "the perfect man," and "the modern Hercules." Sandow used his popularity to market books, a magazine (
Physical Culture
), and exercise equipment.

Administration
Processing Information
Collection processed by Alison Oswald, archivist, 2019.
Separated Materials
Materials in the Division of Culture and the Arts
The Division of Culture and the Arts holds hand weights, a cut-out, and a dumbbell belonging to Eugen Sandow. See accession #2001.0179.
Author
Alison Oswald
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated to the Archives Center by Dan Manhart in 2009.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation
Ernest Edwin Coffin Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Custodial History
Custodial History
The collection was assembled by Ernest Edwin Coffin, a collector of Eugen Sandow memorabilia.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Physical education and training Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pamphlets Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Articles Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Modelling Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bodybuilding Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glass plate negatives Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Books Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Periodicals Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World's Columbian Exposition (1893, Chicago, Ill.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sandow, Eugen, 1867-1925 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives