According to Muscle and Fitness, "The Smith machine was invented by fitness legend Jack La Lanne, who had a
crudely fashioned sliding apparatus in his gym in the early 1950s. Muscle Beach
bodybuilder Rudy Smith saw the device and hired gym-equipment specialist Paul
Martin to perfect it. The new Smith machine took up residence in Vic Tanny's Gym
in Los Angeles, where Smith was manager. By the end of the '50s, Smith was an
executive in Tanny's gym chain, and his eponymous machines were being
manufactured and sold. Today, Rudy Smith is 79 and owns Las Vegas Athletic
Clubs, and Smith machines are in gyms everywhere around the globe."
Source Citation (MLA 7th
Merritt, Greg. "Rack up the gains: try these boredom-busting variations on
traditional exercises with our one-stop, full-body workout." Joe Weider's
Muscle & Fitness July 2005: 140+.