Saxon was a strongman performing in Europe in the 1890's. On February 26, 1898, he appeared on stage performing his feat of lifting a huge barbell with one arm (as seen in the photo below) and announced that "...even the Great Sandow would not be able to lift it!
Unknown to Saxon, Sandow was in the audience. Sandow stood up and accepted the challenge and came onstage. Saxon lifted the barbell first, then stepped back to give Sandow his turn. Sandow, in his haste, did not balance the bar properly and the barbell toppled. Sandow demanded another try, and this time, he balanced the bar, lifting it overhead without effort. Sandow was not immediately declared the winner, however. It took 4 years for the debate to be settled.
It wasn't until 1902 that Sandow was finally declared the official winner and strongest of the two. Saxon wrote a book in 1910 entitled "The Textbook of Weight-Lifting". Saxon was very strong. His record lifts were - bent press: 370 lbs.* - snatch: 195 lbs. - military press: 252 lbs. - two hands anyhow (powerlift): 448 lbs.
Saxon served in World War I and apparently suffered greatly from malnutrition during the conflict. He attempted to carry on his strongman act at the end of the war, but this was almost impossible in his weakened condition. He never really recovered from the deprivations of the war, and grew weaker with unsuspected tuberculosis. It was because of this that he became an easy prey to pneumonia. Arthur Saxon eventually died from complications on August 6, 1921. He was only 43 years of age.
*There are reports that Saxon actually performed the bent press with 385 lbs. before witnesses.