Grip Scale Strength Testers
Retro Coin Op Synopsis
David Gottlieb wasn’t just the king of pinball, you know. He actually cut his arcade teeth on strength and grip testers, making them in the late 1920’s out of his small factory in Chicago. Back in that roaring decade, these little ego-bullying machines could be found in nearly every bar, cigar shop, and barber shop around, all painted bright “Chinese Red” and just begging to be approached.
There was no electricity needed; the springs and gears inside regulated all of this coin-op’s action. So, armed with just a penny and something to prove, a player could have his go.
In the 20’s, there was just the Grip Scale Strength Tester. In the 1940’s, the Improved Deluxe Grip Scale, Counter Athletic Machine came out, measuring strength in three different ways: A questioner of his own power could still squeeze the grip to derive “grip strength,” but if he wanted to branch out and measure entire arm strength, he had to pull apart, or push together, the two metal rods.
Once the testing was done, charts were provided, wherein a player could find out, given his or her particular age and sex, what his or her optimal strength ratings should have been. And if a payee’s strength was brutish enough, a bell would ring—1940’s bragging rights for sure. But no pressure...