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Gottlieb grip tester lands

Stunning restoration of a 1930s penny arcade strength tester


The Pawn Stars strength is tested when a 1930s Gottlieb grip tester lands in the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. In 1927, D. Gottlieb & Co. started as a pinball machine manufacturer based in Chicago. During the early 1900s, Gottlieb made a variety of simple penny arcade, coin-operated machines. Not only were they hugely popular at the time, but collectors also love them. 

The grip tester brought in for the Pawn Stars to buy can measure up to 300 lbs. of grip force. The side of the machine reads 'Are you strong or weak? Test your grip'. Anybody that had a penny could walk up to the device, squeeze the handle and see what their grip strength was. The owner wanted $1,500 dollars for it, but Rick muscled in on the deal for this vintage game and brought him down to $600. Although it caught Rick's interested, the condition of the 1930s penny arcade strength tester had Rick a little concerned. 

The device does work, so it definitely might be worth something to a collector. So Rick gets his friend and restoration expert Bob to help restore the piece. It's a tough one to rebuild, but it could be done. It's going to cost around $600-$700 to restore, but Rick is willing to go all-in in the hope of making a classic vintage item come back to life - especially as he is tempted to keep it for himself! 

Fortunately, Bob did an excellent job with the restoration. He took it all apart, re-did all the graphics, polished out the old colour (to make sure he was using the exact same colour to re-paint the machine) and even had the '1 cent' coin slot nickel-plated. Rick was certainly happy with how it came out and was hugely excited to get it back on the store's shelves.