Atlas Athletic Company | Pilates History Research

Negotiations with Medalist Finalists Pilates History Archive Article

The Atlas Athletic Company was a gymnasium equipment company based in St. Louis. In the 1940’s, they sold pilates apparatus for Joseph Pilates. The reason why they stopped selling Pilates apparatus is not yet known, but could have to do with a change of ownership and taking the company into a different direction. A common mistake is that Joe’s brother, Fred, owned Atlas Athletic Company, which he did not.

Images first shared on 7/30/21.

Atlas Athletic Equipment Company is the earliest printed ad, pilates history archive article

This rare 1940’s ad from Atlas Athletic Equipment Company is the earliest printed ad currently known that lists so many pieces of pilates equipment in one advertisement. Listed here are the following pilates apparatus, which Atlas Athletic Equipment sold: Benchmat, Massage Table, Resister, Spine Corrector, and Universal Reformer.

Images first shared on 3/2/24.

These Atlas Athletic catalog pages depict apparatus by Joseph Pilates such as the Bench Mat, Treatment Table, Spine Corrector, Steel Bottom Slippers, Circular Cushion, and Neck Support Cushion. This is a fascinating look into the language used in the 1940’s to sell Joe’s inventions. What an absolutely incredible find!

These pages are rich with information, such as the type of padding used, the lightness of the Steel Bottom Slippers (just 1lb!), the optional attachments for the Treatment Table, and so much more! They really make for an entertaining and educational read!

We have these historical pages thanks to the research of Cathy Strack. In fact, these images can be found, in color, in her new book, Get to Know Joe. Check out Cathy’s book for more details about Atlas Athletic, their work with Joe, and the apparatus they featured. And check out her website where you can buy copies of these pages.

Thank you, Cathy, for true research and for exciting finds such as these! Information like this can bring our community together in profound ways, by providing information about where the work we teach is from. We appreciate your work!

Images first shared on 10/8/22.

atlas athletic catalog apparatus archive article

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atlas athletic catalog treatment table
atlas athletic catalog read
atlas athletic catalog spine corrector
atlas athletic catalog accessories
atlas athletic catalog bench mat
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