In the 18th and 19th centuries, chemists and apothecaries would make their own pills. They would make up the prescription recipe into a paste and then roll it into a long thin sausage shape.
This was then placed onto the plate of the roller. The roller would then be pushed back and forth along the ridges creating perfectly uniform sphere pills. These would then be boxed up and supplied to the customer.
Signed by S. Maw and Son & Thomson who were makers of medical equipment between 1870 – 1901.