• Few Americans have had such a lasting influence on the nation's culture as Bernarr Macfadden.
    But just how innovative was he? Let's take a look at his legacy.

    Organic Food:

    Conventional wisdom: Whole Foods launched craze when first store opened in 1980.

    Macfadden: Began “Pure Food Question Box” advice column in Physical Culture, 1914.

    Winner: MACFADDEN

    Penis Enlargement:

    Viagra: Became widely available, 1998.

    Macfadden: Patented his Peniscope, ca. 1915.

    Winner: MACFADDEN

    Core Training:

    Pilates: Developed by Joseph Pilates after World War I.

    Macfadden: Introduced “mechanical physcultopathy” ca. 1900.

    Winner: MACFADDEN


    India: Ancient practice has roots going back more than 2000 years.

    Macfadden: Published long how-to piece on ancient Indian practice, 1931.

    Winner: INDIA

    Aerobic Exercise:

    Dr. Ken Cooper: Authored cardio manifesto Aerobics, 1968.

    Macfadden: Published editorial, “Will Exercise Strain the Heart?” 1919.

    Winner: MACFADDEN

    Healthy Religion:

    Christian Science: Salubrious sect founded by Mary Baker Eddy, 1879.

    Cosmotarianism: Salubrious sect founded by Macfadden, 1946.


    Home Gyms:

    Bowflex: First basement-bound muscle machine sold, 1986.

    Macfadden: Hawked eponymous wall-mount exerciser, ca. 1897.

    Winner: MACFADDEN

    Photo Manipulation Tools:

    PhotoShop: Original software introduced, 1988.

    Macfadden: Rolled out Composographs in New York Evening Graphic, 1925.

    Winner: MACFADDEN


    Schwarzenegger: Won first Mr. Universe title in 1967.

    Macfadden: Held America's first strength competition, 1903.

    Winner: MACFADDEN

    Powerful Politics:

    Schwarzenegger: Elected governor of California, 2003.

    Macfadden: Lost Florida senate race, 1940.


    Sexy Publishing:

    Hugh Hefner: Printed first issue of Playboy, 1953. Later arrested on obscenity charges.

    Macfadden: Sentenced to two years hard labor for publishing stories about venereal disease, 1906.

    Winner: MACFADDEN