Some of our oldest and still popular kitchen utensils include mortars and pestles, potato mashers and potato ricers. People have been mashing roots and potatoes since the days of the Pharaohs. Pharmacists occasionally still use mortars and pestles, their professional emblem, to grind drug concoctions. We have pestles and mortars made from marble, granite, cement, and even plastic.
Lee Copeman got the first patent for a potato masher in 1847. S-wire mashers showed up in the mid-to- late 1800s. Hand mashers, rather than electric beaters, remain popular today because they still make superior mashed potatoes.