You look at the strongmen of today and the strongmen of yesterday, especially the ones who lived around the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and there's no comparison. OK, modern strongmen are strong, but their competitions do not feature the same feats of strength practiced by old-time wrestlers and strongmen. In fact, what the old-time strongmen did over a hundred years ago has never been replicated today (although I could be wrong). And the feats they performed were superhuman, such as snatching cannon balls in mid-air, lifting one ton boulders, wrestling 1,500 lb elephants to the ground, supporting platforms with 20 guys on top, pulling locomotives with only the teeth, holding back a pair of speeding automobiles etc.
Now, my question is... how'd these guys get so damn strong? I've read that it was because of all the BW exercises they performed, before the invention of weightlifting machines and other fancy gym equipment. I've also read that life was much harder back then, necessitating greater physical strength. Have you seen the gyms these guys trained in? They looked like gymnasiums complete with Olympic rings, rope and ladders, with kettlebells scattered about everywhere.