original mid-19th century oversized cast iron drugstore or druggists bowl-shaped mortar with original pestle. the druggists' mortar bowl's pedestal base is free from cracks and/or breaks. the tapered pestle is fashioned with a typical blunt end turned and polished interior. the apothecary mortar and pestle were likely distributed by the fuller & fuller co., chicago, il. possibly fabricated by john j. griffins & sons, chemical and philosophical makers, london. both components exhibit a uniform surface patina, with a brushed metal finish sealed with a clear coat lacquer. mortars and pestles were traditionally used in pharmacies to crush various ingredients prior to preparing an extemporaneous prescription. the mortar and pestle, along with the rod of asclepius, the green cross, and others, is one of the most pervasive symbols of pharmacology due to its classical use in medicine. the metal mortar and pestle fell out of use beginning in the early 20th century, due to the excessive weight and difficulties involving rust and corrosion prevention from everyday cleaning.