The Mills Novelty Company was founded by Mortimer Mills in 1891 in Chicago, IL. The company initially focused on manufacturing and selling coin-operated machines, including music machines, vending machines, and slot machines. In the 1920s, Mills entered the jukebox market and began producing music machines, the first called “Mills Violano-Virtuoso”.
In 1928, Mills introduced the “Hi-Boy” Jukebox and went on to make popular models such as the “Mills Zephyr” and “Mills Throne of Music” that featured improved sound quality and song selection mechanisms. They even produced a movie playing coin operated box called the “Panoram” in 1940 through 1942.
H.C. Evans was founded in 1892 and initially produced fair and carnival items, and eventually went into production of coin-operated items. In 1948 Evans acquired Mills phonograph and started making jukeboxes. The last jukebox was the Holiday/Jewel models before the jukebox division was sold off.