It took her a few days and she's mad at Dad, so she didn't ask him. But it's for taking core samples from fruit and trees. Of course my next question was "why was it in a pharmacy?" and she reminded me that many years ago pharmacists did more than just treat people, they also helped with agricultural things, being the main source of chemistry expertise in some towns. They would sample fruit and new growth to determine the fertilizer supplements needed. They probably checked for diseases too.
So, there's my best guess until I can talk to Dad about it. A little research has shown me that taking cores from fruits with pits is actually not unheard of in "advanced agriculture" as this website (http://www.coolstore.co.nz/products.html ) puts it. If you scroll down the page, you will see a press that does core sampling for avocados.