COLLECTION: Tools & Equipment

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"IOHN" Branding Iron

1750-1820
Origin: England or America
Overall length: 17" Head: 3 9/16" x 7/8" x 1"
Iron/steel
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2012-142
Branding iron reading "IOHN." Tapered 16" shank, of square section for the first 2" and chamfered for the balance. Shank terminates in an open loop.
Label:During the colonial period, "brands" were commonly used to apply ownership marks. While some of these tools were used with paint or ink, others were heated in a fire so that their mark could be burnt directly into the surface of the piece. This branding iron, resembling a block of printer's type, was used to burn the word "IOHN" into a wooden surface, such as the head of a barrel or a side of a chest.