Branding irons are used to print a burn an identifying marker on the hide of horses or cattle so that they may be later identified if they become lost or escape from their pasture. The irons were typically forged by blacksmiths using a toolset that included hammers, anvils and chisels.
The branding irons were used by heating the end bearing the owner’s initials to a very high temperature in a furnace, and then burnishing it against the skin of the cow. Brands were registered with state governments as unique marks. This allowed for a state registry to be maintained.
This is an example of an implement used locally in the livestock industry.
A branding iron with letter R on circular end. Handle loop is oval shaped. It has been painted blue to half way.