The Brand… What do you stand for?
This hand-forged branding iron consists of the letters “L” and “S” which is believed to have been used at the La Sirena (Spanish for The Mermaid) Ranch in Mexico. Cattle brands such as this one are used by ranchers to brand their livestock. In order to brand calves two cowboys, referred to as flankers, restrain and position it for branding. The glowing, hot branding iron is placed on the calf’s hide momentarily. The heat of the iron burns the brand into the hide of the calf.
Branding cattle distinguishes one’s ownership over certain cattle. This was highly important for ranchers since there were no fences in the West to distinguish one’s property from another. Barbed wire that was sturdy enough to contain livestock was not invented until 1873. This invention offered an affordable way for large areas of land to be…
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