The embossed image of a lion using a mortar and pestle is noticeably subtle and is not in as stark relief as the words and images on other bottles. No one knows for sure why the lion was chosen as the symbol of Joel B. Brown’s apothecary in Springfield, Illinois. The slogan “Sign of the Golden Lion” was adopted in 1877. The bottle was produced sometime between 1880 and 1897 for use at the drug store located first on the south side of the Capitol Square and later at Fifth and Monroe Streets.
Joel B. Brown lived from 1840-1897. At various times he partnered in business with family members including his brother John H. Brown and cousin Dwight Brown. In addition to being a registered pharmacist from 1882-1897, Brown’s businesses also sold books in addition to wholesale drugs.
Source: “Good For What Ailed You” in Springfield, Illinois: Embossed Pharmaceutical Bottles Used by Springfield Druggists from the Civil War Era to the Early Twentieth Century, by Frederick M. Brown