Just a quick post today. I recently found several digitized vintage publications on Google Books that shows various brands used on cattle out west (search “cattle brand” under Free Google eBooks). One book has a couple of thousand different livestock brands registered in Arizona as of July 1908. That’s a lot of ranches. There are also some articles in this one on various livestock health related topics such as anthrax, fever ticks, lumpy jaw and loco weed (not what you think it is). The other books are for California (1920), North Dakota and Kansas (the Cherokee Strip from 1882). These might be a good reference to use for a western scenario or campaign that deals with cattle ranches. Most pages consist of the brand and markings for the various ranches. The “C” is for cattle brand locations and the “H” is for horse locations. Some show the ear markings, the brand’s registry number, the owner/company and the location of the ranch. The neat thing about brands is that cowboys often refer to the ranch itself by the brand name and they have odd ways to refer to some of the symbols. For example the -S- would be called the Bar-S-Bar. For more explanation on how to read brands refer to this web site>>>> Link.
The Arizona book is called Brands and Marks of Cattle, Horses, Sheep, Goats and Hogs. Livestock Sanitary Board of Arizona, 1908. It is a large document but you can download it at this link>>>Link.
If you want an idea of what different brands might look like you can down load this Cherokee Strip Brand Book right here: