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It’s Candy…and a Toy!

Thomas.Mills 002

Ever wonder how candy was made in the nineteenth century?

An 1874 catalog from Thomas Mills & Brother entitled Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue of Goods advertises a machine which made Candy Toys. It was called the Mills’ Excelsior Toy Machine and was patented on September 1, 1868. The machine cost $500 and had the ability to make 500 to 1000 pounds of candy toys each day. The candy toys could be made in 33 different patterns including a ship, rocking horse, and train as well as a number of animals, such as a dog, lion, camel, or elephant. 

More catalogs showing the confectionery machinery of Thomas Mills & Brother of Philadelphia, PA can be found in the Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library. The Libraries also has additional images from this catalog and other items from its trade literature collection on flickr. Enjoy!—Alexia MacClain


  1. Miles Oquendo

    Miles Oquendo

    Really appreciate you sharing this post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

  2. Selena

    Great info. Lucky me I ran across your website by chance (stumbleupon).
    I’ve bookmarked it for later!

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