Q: I have an antique grip machine that was used in my grandparents’ tavern a century ago. The machine is red metal and works with a penny. It was manufactured by D. Gottlieb & Co. of Chicago. A bell rings when you get the meter so high. There is a chart on the front that has different ages and grip numbers for men and women. How much is it worth?
A: Your grip machine is not quite as old as you think. D. Gottlieb & Co. was founded by David Gottlieb in 1927. Originally the company made pinball machines. Gottlieb’s countertop grip tester was first made in 1928. The machine tested grip and arm strength and was a money-maker for stores, taverns, barbershops and other retail businesses. Keys were needed to open up the back and get the money out. The grip tester was in and out of production until at least the late 1940s. Gottlieb made hundreds of different games. A couple of years ago, a D. Gottlieb & Co. grip tester with keys sold for $480.