Thursday, April 19, 2012

Strong Women in History: Vulcana

VulcanaBetter known by her stage name, Vulcana, Kate Williams was born in 1875 in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, in Wales. Her parents were of Irish decent and her father was a well-respected local preacher. She spent her career performing as one half of a double act with her life partner, William Roberts (better known as his stage name, Atlas). The pair, who avoided controversy when they fled their home town together (Roberts was married with a child) after falling in love, went on to tour music halls in Britain, Europe and Australia. Their double act was called The Atlas and Vulcana Group of Society Athletes. Vulcana had a particularly strong bond with her husband, Atlas, although she used to pretend they were brother and sister in order to preserve the credibility of their double act.

At the age of 30 she was 5'7" in height, weighed 161Lbs and had the following measurements: chest - 3'6", waist - 2'3", biceps - 1'3", thighs - 2'1", forearm - 1', neck - 1'3". Vulcana was able to lift 181Lbs with just one arm.

The height of Vulcana’s career was reached while she was living and working in France, where she found fame thanks to regular appearances in magazine articles. She won over one hundred medals during her career, including one personally awarded to her by Professor Edmond Desbonnet – often referred to as the “Father of French Bodybuilding”.Vulcana was exceptionally strong. She earned a reputation as a heroine due to many personal situations she found herself in; she once confronted a mugger who tried to steal her bag by grabbing his arm and leading him straight to the police station, and on another occasion she single-handedly pulled a stuck wagon from a ditch in London in front of a crowd of people. Her favourite technique was arm-twisting and she was particularly good at bench presses; she could reach weights of 124.5 pounds with her right hand and an over head lift with a 56 pound weight in each hand. 

Olivia Lennox is a freelance writer from England who writes about city link for a logistics magazine and website in the UK.

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