Rex Allen portrait
Rex Allen with guitar
Coffee Cup
Rex Allen movie DVD
title title
Coffee Stain
barbed wire


Rex Allen Logo
Rex Allen Museum


Hours may change under
current circumstances.
Closed Sunday
Open Mon 10 to 1 with live music
Tues – Sat 11 to 3
closed all major holidays

$5 per person
Kids under 10 are free.
Veteran’s free

Physical Address:
150 N. Railroad Ave.
Willcox, AZ 85643

Mailing Address:
PO Box 142
Willcox, AZ 85644

"Livestock Brands"

Text from the website

The origin of branding livestock dates from 2700 B.C. Paintings in Egyptian tombs document branding oxen with hieroglyphics. Ancient Greeks and Romans marked livestock and slaves with a hot iron before tungsten carbide was discovered. Hernando Cortez introduced branding from Spain to the New World in 1541. He brought cattle stamped with his mark of three crosses. There has never been anything to take the place of a visible brand as a permanent definitive mark of ownership and deterrent to theft. Livestock people say "a brand's something that won't come off in the wash."

The original Spanish brands were, as a rule, complicated, and beautifully rich in design, but not always practical. The early American ranchers wanted more simple designs that were easy to remember, easily made, that did not blotch, and that were hard to alter.

Reading Brands
For many new livestock owners, the art of reading a brand is a mystery . Brands, to the inexperienced, resemble hieroglyphics;  to the experienced livestock person, however, they become a  readable language.  With practice and an understanding of some important brand terms, the average person can easily acquire basic skills in reading brands.

Brands have a language all their own.  That  language,  like any other, follows certain rules. The ability to read these symbols is referred to as "callin' the brand."
Brands are composed of capital letters of the alphabet, numerals, pictures, and characters such as slash  /, circle  O, half-circle , cross +, _bar, etc.,  with  many combinations and adaptations.  Letters can be used singly, joined, or in combinations.  They can be upright, XIT XIT ; 
lying down or "lazy," (lazy  S);  connected VB connected( V B connected) or combined,VB combined (V B combined); reversed, reverse B (reverse B); 
or hanging V hanging S  (V hanging S). Figures or numbers are used  in the  same  way as the letters.
Picture brands  are  usually used alone, for example ladder brand (ladder)  or rising sun (rising sun).
There  are  three accepted rules  for  reading  brands. 
     1.  Read from the left to the right as ML (M L).
     2.  Read from  the top to the bottom as bar M (bar m).
     3.  When the brand is enclosed, it is read from the outside to the inside ascircle S(circle S).

The reading  of a brand, especially the more complicated ones, in one locality or state may not correspond to the way it is read elsewhere.