M&M's Production Roller, Lamp

This drum printing plate was used at the Mars Hackettstown, NJ manufacturing plant to print the letter M on the candy shell during the production of M&M candy during the 1960s.
One feature that makes the M&M candy brand distinctive is the letter M printed on each lentil. The lettter helped brand the candy and differentiate it from competitors products. The Ms were first black and appeared in 1950, they were changed to white in 1954.
In 1940 Forrest Mars (son of American candy manufacturer Frank Mars) moved from England to the US and founded the candy company M&M Ltd in Newark, NJ. In anticipation of wartime rationing of commodities like chocolate and sugar, Mars brought R. Bruce Murrie (son of Hershey general manager William Murrie) into the company as a partner. The Hershey Company provided industrial chocolate for many candy companies including M&M Ltd for many years. In 1941 the company began producing M&Ms almost exclusively for armed forces personnel. The M&M letters stand for the candy company founders, Forrest Mars and R. Bruce Murrie.
This printing drum was later turned into a lamp barrel as a retirement souvenir to commemorate the work of Elden Beeks as Vice President of Personnel for the M&M’s Company, later a division of Mars Incorporated. The plaque on the lamp reads "To Elden Beeks in Appreciation from his Associates 1947 1968 / M&M LTD 1947 / Hawley & Hoops, Inc. 1952 / M&M Candies A Division of Food Manufactures, Inc. 1956 / M&Ms Candies A Division of MARS Inc. 1964 / M&M Candies Eastern Division MARS Incorporated 1966 / M&M MARS 1967.”
Object Name
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 17 in x 6 5/8 in; 43.18 cm x 16.8275 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Industry & Manufacturing
American Enterprise
See more items in
Work and Industry: Production and Manufacturing
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of MARS Inc.

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