March 2016

Mortar and Pestle Stone Implements


Mortar and Pestle Stone ImpletmentsThe mortar and pestle have had many different uses throughout history. They were used as tools for crushing berries, nuts, herbs, and others foods in prehistoric times. They have also been used in pharmacies for crushing and mixing pills and powders. A more modern version of the mortar and pestle is used as a symbol for pharmacies and on prescription labels.

This particular mortar and pestle set pictured on the left was obtained by Richard F. Pettigrew from the Smithsonian Museum. Senator Pettigrew traded petrified wood specimens for artifacts from the institution. The mortar and pestle are just two of the many artifacts Mr. Pettigrew acquired in this manner. This set can be viewed in the new Hard Rock: Historic Stone Implements exhibit on the second floor of the Old Courthouse Museum.



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