Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. He had a lifelong interest in body conditioning. As a frail child dedicated to improving his strength, he later became an accomplished skier, diver, gymnast, and boxer.
Joseph Pilates went on to become a nurse in England during WWI. During his internment, Pilates designed exercise equipment for his immobilized patients by attaching springs to hospital beds. This system became the foundation for his style of body conditioning. He brought this system to New York when he opened his first Pilates studio in 1926 and went on to create what is now known as the The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning.
Photo by I C Rapoport at www.icrapoport.com