I have both the 1945 and 1960 editions of Return to Life in my collection. There are a few subtle differences between the two in regards to the exercise instructions and photos.
Here’s a layout comparing the 1945 version and the 1960 version. Expand individual pics to read the instructions and to see details!
We can speculate why Joe decided to make these editions between publications.
Roll Over and Bicycle: it appears that he rearranged the order of the photos to match the instructions more clearly.
The One Leg Kick and The Double Kick: it looks as though the instructions for Pose 1 of these two exercises got mixed up in the 1945 edition and was later corrected in the 1960!
Rocking: A subtle difference in the photos for Pose 1.
Side Bend: this is my favorite. Check out the difference in the hand position for Pose 4! Wow!
If you’re interested in going deeper into these changes and the editions of the books, IGTV at @elaine_ewing for the Return to Life Readings Sean Gallagher and Elaine did every Friday in 2020! We discuss these… and more!
Images first shared on 10/22/21.
A comparison between the covers of the 1945 and 1960 “Return to Life” covers.
Images first shared on 10/22/21.
“Return to Life” Signed 1945 Edition
This is part of my collection, an original copy of the 1945 edition Return to Life, signed and inscribed by Joseph Pilates!
This copy belonged to one of Joe’s clients, Jean Ellyn. Jean was a famous radio voice of the 1940s. She was known for playing the role of a woman who suffered a perilous fate on radio shows of the times.
There are many fascinating details here. I love how Joe circled the word “all” in regards to how all the photos are of Joe in the book. This is an important distinction between Joe’s publication and others of the times! Often physical culturists used others to demonstrate.
I also love the 939 8th Avenue stamps in the front of the book. The blue stamp says, “Would appreciate your comments concerning Return to Life.”
Images first shared on February 18, 2023.
Related Topics: Joe’s Clients
Flier/ Order Form
This is a publisher’s flier from my collection of originals. It was produced by The Christopher Publishing House as an order form for Return to Life Through Contrology.
Images first shared on 7/1/21.
A number of book reviews for Joseph Pilates’ book, Return to Life Through Contrology, were published over his lifetime.
Images first shared on 4/3/21.
An original 1960 copy of Return to Life from my collection of originals- signed by Clara Pilates.
Its rare to find an original copy of Return to Life signed by Clara, and it looks like she signed this one for both Joe and herself.
Keeping with tradition as Joe wrote when he signed Return to Life, she wrote, “Everlasting youth to you and yours through Contrology.”
I’ve researched who Robert McQueen could have been but haven’t been able to find anything definitive. Hopefully some day we’ll find out more about him and whether he was a student of Contrology or an acquaintance of the Pilates.
In the meantime, we can enjoy knowing that Clara also signed copies of Return to Life, since she likely helped in seeing the book to its completion, publication and republication over the years.
Image first shared on 9/15/2023