Archival Ped-O-Pul

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Elaine Ewing discovered an old instructional poster of Joe Pilates on a Ped-O-Pul that was unique from anything previously seen. in it, Joe’s instructions were very specific and the apparatus had a bike seat! The poster also cleared up an ongoing mystery as to the correct spelling (it's Ped-O-Pul, not Pedipole or PediPull). Elaine took the poster to Silvia at Pilates Designs who took measurements of Blossom Leilani Crawford's original Ped-O-Pul (see our video about Blossom’s Ped-O-Pul here). In this video, Elaine and Sean Gallagher demonstrate it's features, how to adjust it and how to perform several of exercises from the poster, according to Joe's exact instructions. Thanks to Sean Gallagher who owns Joe Pilates' Becket, MA studio and Elaine Ewing from Rhinebeck Pilates for sharing this incredible find!

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14 Comments

  1. Elaine Ewing
    Elaine Ewing 1 month ago

    If you are a pilates teacher you may be interested in my workshop on the archival Pedopul, “The Lost Art of The Ped-o-Pul™”. This video shows a small portion of some of the information I present in the workshop. The workshop is 3 hours and covers in-depth the history of the Pedopul using photos (most unseen and/or unnoticed in the pilates community), as well as original written documentation on how to do the exercises, and additional information as to what the elders used and how they taught the exercises. Like I said, this video is a brief summary but really does not touch on the information from the workshop in full. Glad it peaked your interest.

  2. Sean Gallagher Author
    Sean Gallagher 1 month ago

    Hi David
    Thanks for the reply, welcome to the world of OK “pilates” where anything goes and anyone can tell you anything about their “Pilates” Kind of a little like Joe and his half truths and even lies when he talked about himself and his history (but really much worse today). Well considering who ever that was I doubt he had Joe’s actual drawing with the measurements since I have the blueprints for most of his apparatus and did put some in my archival book (minus the dimensions) and even if you were to follow the plans it would depend on the quality of the material and workmanship when looking at the quality of the final product.

    As for Joe’s documentation of his method there are multiple photo shoots of the different apparatus over the decades and what is clear is that there were some changes in the order as well as exercises but very few. So we know pretty much the beginning, middle and end and that his genius was as much in the exercises(and when they worked he didn’t keep changing them because they did work) what he also was a genius at was developing new apparatus to be able to do his exercises on and then documenting them with posters and instructions.

    Can you or anyone come to a conclusion about the archival Ped_O-Pul and what is being manufactured today by most manufacturers? since they are not the same(even the recent knockoffs of the archival one that Pilates Designs makes for our workshops) if the height, springs and spring distance are different then the apparatus is different and thus the exercises are different. So unless you try both what conclusions can be done?? Still good I’m sure but different

    Thanks for responding and good luck with your continued learning. So much to learn from Mr. Pilates Lifetime of developing his method as he taught and wanted it taught. Glad you have figured out that there is a lot of buyer beware OK “Pilates” that has nothing to do with what Joe developed.

  3. ddk 2 months ago

    Question for Elaine, you keep on saying according to Joe, according to Joe, according to Joe did you ever meet the man and you’re passing on first hand information or just assuming things looking at a poster?

    • Elaine Ewing
      Elaine Ewing 1 month ago

      @ddkSince I am 40 years old and Joe died in 1967, I have obviously never met him. When I state something is “according to Joe” I am not assuming anything. I am basing that phrase on facts obtained from his written instructions on the chart, his photos on the chart and in film, and his original apparatus, all of which I have studied from. If I don’t know for sure if something is “according to Joe” I don’t say that it is.  So to answer your question, it is neither first hand experience or assumption. Its giving credit to Joseph Pilates and passing the information on to other teachers. 

      • ddk 1 month ago

        @rhinebeckpilates, Hi Elaine,I got interested in Pilates a few years ago and because I travel a lot have been taking lessons in different studios and the common denominator has been differences. Everyone claims that theirs is “real” or “original” Pilates which makes things very confusing for novices like me. The reformers are all different and how each exercise is taught varies from place to place, some instructors even treat the reformer like the Total Gym claiming “according to Joe” because he was a boxer. Aside from the confusion you waste a lot of money and time going through motions that don’t much for you. I was lucky that my initial pilates encounter was with the right people so I was aware that something vital was missing in my training but I didn’t know what. Then I came across the Classical Pilates Technique videos that I understood that so much of what I was taught was loosely based on “classical pilates” and often watered down or just modified for no good reason at all. The same with the equipment, Gratz reformer I now own is vastly superior and different to what I previously owned and they claimed that theirs was made from Joe’s original drawings too. I came across this site and Jay about a year ago, watching his videos and his instruction gives a new meaning to “according to Joe” and has made a world of difference in my training, and for my instructor frankly, hence the question regarding your “according to Joe”. I appreciate you replying, it helps me understand what you mean with that phrase. David 

    • Sean Gallagher Author
      Sean Gallagher 1 month ago

      @ddkAnswer for you even though you asked it of Elaine since we did this video together. As the 5th owner of Mr. Pilates Pilates business and the owner of the majority of his archives this video is as close to Mr. Pilates Actual work on this apparatus as your going to get. When Elaine says according to Joe she’s letting the viewer know that due her ability to extensively study this apparatus through the most comprehensive materials available that Joe left us to ensure his life’s work would be understood and carried on is presented. “According to Joe” this is what he left us and we are presenting it, that’s it. So besides the Joe question issue you have, did you like the video? Was it informative? Do you have any questions  on his Ped-O-Pul (that is so much different than those being used today)?  What I don’t get is that people want to know what Joe taught and then when we present it were being challenged for doing it in the most accurate and historical way with Joe’s writings, pictures and video’s. If you’re really interested in what Joe taught, how he taught it, there’s only one Pilates Source™ 

      • Sean Gallagher Author
        Sean Gallagher 1 month ago

        One last thing It is due to Elaine’s diligent research and work that the correct spelling of the Ped-O-Pul is now know as well. Since she was the one who discovered the lost poster that had Joe’s spelling of it ( I have pictures in the archives but not the poster). Even Gratz and the elders were spelling it wrong.

      • ddk 1 month ago

        @sean-gallagher, Hi Sean,I explained above why I was curious about “according to Joe” comment in your video. I used to call the manufacturer of my previous reformer with complaints about equipment malfunction and he would reply that he builds his machines “according to Joe’s” drawings and I’m the one who has to adapt, that company’s gone now!I appreciate the existence of the archives and your effort preserving and sharing them with the community! As far as getting closest to Joe Pilates’s work we’re fortunate to have Jay and a couple of others still around to give us a better insight to his methods at least for me, can infer from any video or archive, specially not knowing where was the start, the middle and the final product/exercise. Your video was interesting but I need to watch it again and spend some more time on the modern day Ped-O-Pul I recently bought before coming to any conclusions.David 

  4. pilates-powers.de

    Congratulations. It is wonderful you brought this valuable information and piece of equipment back to life.

  5. DKimbro 6 months ago

    So excited about this Ped-O-Pul! Thank you for demonstrating and sharing it’s features and exercises. I love the detail in Joe’s exact instructions and how challenging it is. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  6. LittleEngine 8 months ago

    I agree! When/where will the poster be shared? Exciting!

  7. robertapilates 8 months ago

    Great news!!! I can’t wait to actually see the poster and the exercises!! Thankssss

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