Nineteenth Century Candy Making Machine

The candy-making machine depicted below was constructed around 1885.  Louis Fishman brought the machine with him when he immigrated to Toronto.  Louis’ father, who ran a candy factory in Poland, gave Louis the machine that made hard candies in the hopes that he could use it to make a living in Canada.

Louis Fishman worked as a peddler in Toronto from 1916 to 1929.  In 1930, he started a confectionery business out of his house on Oxford Street, though it is possible that he made and sold candy from his cart before that time.  In 1931, there were over 100 confectioneries listed in the Toronto Jewish directory, along with three major Jewish candy-makers.

Most of Toronto’s Jewish confectioners in the 1920s and 1930s operated out of their homes or lived above their shops. Candy-making appealed to immigrants as a way to make some extra money.  Both women and men were involved in the business.

Hand-operated candy machines like this one were first manufactured in the mid 1800s, but were used into the mid-twentieth century by small-scale candy-makers.  The automated machines used in candy factories today are fitted with larger rollers, but they work in much the same way as this one. 

Patterns like the one in this machine make what are known as “toy mixes” or “fruit drop mixes.”  Louis Fishman’s machine was equipped to handle moulds that could produce a variety of shapes such as twists, bars, fruit, flowers, vegetables, and lozenges.