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These objects are easily recognizable as something we still use today: exercise dumbbells. However, these particular dumbbells are extremely lightweight and made of wood. They were used for calisthenics, likely in the early 1900s. Intentional exercise gained popularity in the early Victorian period.
Though visually unassuming, these dumbbells were actually an indicator of higher class status. Wealthy individuals generally did not have physically demanding jobs and would have had to find other means of keeping fit, like working out with these dumbbells.