Rex Allen Museum
Open Mon 10 to 1 with live music
Tues – Sat 11 to 3
closed all major holidays
$2 per person
Kids under 10 are free.
150 N. Railroad Ave.
Willcox, AZ 85643
PO Box 142
Willcox, AZ 85644
Text from the website http://cowboyshowcase.comThe 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.
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 ;
lying down or "lazy," (lazy S); connected ( V B connected) or combined, (V B combined); reversed, (reverse B);
or hanging (V hanging S). Figures or numbers are used in the same way as the letters.
Picture brands are usually used alone, for example (ladder) or (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).
3. When the brand is enclosed, it is read from the outside to the inside as(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.