Sunday, March 10, 2013

Joseph Greenstein AKA The Mighty Atom - Nail Driving

The Mighty Atom is a legend among strongman circles, and this video shows why. A few of his otherworldly skills are on display here; driving a 20 penny nail through a thick wooden board with his bare hands and then proceeding to bite the head off of one. He also offers a rare glimpse of insight into some of the beliefs and principles he followed during his long life; a life that reads like a fictional superhero. After being born three months premature, fighting nazis and even surviving being shot in the head, it's not surprising to learn that he actually inspired one.


  1. My Grandmother,Lillian Greenstein was the niece of The Mighty Atom. I think my father inherited some of his strength and will to survive. My father was hit on the head with a sawed off shot gun inside his own house when he was in his 60's. He ran out to a neighbor's house and called the police who were able to arrest the men who had also knocked my mother down. My father is a cancer survivor and still lives an alcohol and tobacco free life. Although he does love his chocolate.

  2. I met Joe Greenstein I believe a few years before he died. I was working setting up the Allentown Fair in Pennsylvania either 1973 or 1974. This old panel truck pulls up into the empty parking lot. This old man in a wrinkled white shirt and rolled up sleeves gets out. I immediately knew it was the Mighty Atom, from when I seen him at the fair when I was a boy. Now I was 17. A bunch of us walked over to greet him. In his quiet, gruff voice, he says, "Hia boys". He opens up the back of his truck and he has a bunch of stuff there. I wish I would have bought his liniment. Anyway, he pulls out a large nail out of a box of nails, and without any hesitation, twists it around itself like it was a piece of licorice. I just smiled, because it validated what I thought I saw in him when he was 10 years younger, twisting horseshoes like they were nothing. After letting him know he was a week early, he laughed, we said goodbye, and we went back to the Fair shop, and put the nail in a vice and used a channel lock pliers to get it to budge. I will never forget that day or him as long as I live.

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