Thos Mill & Bro designed and patented many different kinds of candy making machines. The earlier machines were hand cranked and sold to business so they could make their own candy in-house. Over time the machines were belt driven.
Drop rollers were used to make candies in the shapes of balls, fruits, nuts or other objects. Often these were sold as penny candies. You would buy a base machine then buy the roller with different patterns.
According to Thomas Mills this is one of the most valuable machines that can be put in a factory. It is used for molasses kisses, salt water taffy, after dinner mints, and a variety of soft boiled goods.
These machines were a way to make a lot of clear toy candy pieces without the labor of the hand poured clear toys. The quality was not a good, nor a clear as the hand poured ones.
These machines were used to make stick candy with patterns on them. They had stock patterns or Mills would make custom patterns.