Founder: Arthur Jones
Year of Conception: 1970
Notes: Pioneered in a one-car garage with a $2500 loan Arthur Jones and his son Gary designed weight-lifting equipment. Early iterations employed chains that would increase resistance as the movement progressed. Gary is credited with coming up with a cam that would allow similar results using a weight stack. The iconic clamshell created its namesake, making the resistance vary throughout the motion. After spending almost 20 years prototyping, their creation was ready for market. The machine was called the blue monster and made one of its first public appearances in Culver City, CA, in 1970. Arthur also had a knack for promoting his products while Gary worked on behind-the-scenes development. Arthur hired famous bodybuilders like Boyer Coe and the Menzer brothers to help advertise his products. Arthur even created tv programs based on the use of his creations.
The strategy worked, and by 1984 Nautilus had become one of the biggest names in Fitness and Sports medicine and had nearly 4700 fitness centers across the US. In 1986 it was sold to a Texas oil man, and Gary departed shortly after and went on to create Hammer Strength.
Nautilus continued to thrive throughout the 80s and 90s. In 2006 Nautilus acquired Universal's brand of equipment, which was once a rival. By 2011 the company had shifted ownership and relocated to Oregon; they decided to focus on home gym equipment.
Generations of Nautilus equipment continue to endure in commercial gyms to this day. They are distinguishable by their unique and practical biomechanics. Early original machines are even sought after as collector's items. Nautilus continues to operate today due to its ability to evolve with the changing market throughout the years. Star Trac purchased the rights to the Nautilus commercial line in 2014 and now produces their commercial line.
Alias: Schwinn, Universal, Modern Movement, Bowflex, Octane Fitness
Known Associates: MedX Inc,