Rasmus Nielsen (1874-1957) was one of America’s first extreme tattooed and pierced individuals. Billed as “the Danish Strong Man” he was tattooed from head to toe, and had two nipple rings which he used to lift objects up to 250 lbs. such as a blacksmith’s anvil.His nose and tongue were also pierced, and he could lift with these parts of his body as well. When he lifted weights with his rings, he would make a loud succession of gutteral screams “to transcend the pain”, but undoubtedly for the entertainment of the audience as well.Organizations that employed him included the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus sideshow and Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Odditorium. He was also known as “the Scandinavian Strong Man” and the “the Tattooed Water Man.”
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