Included in this lot is a pair of 19th century Montana livestock branding irons. A branding iron is used for pressing a heated metal shape against an object or livestock with the intention of leaving an identifying mark. The branding iron provided a way for ranchers to mark their claim on cattle and other livestock while deterring theft. The earliest records of livestock branding date back to the ancient Egyptians, but the practice came to America by way of European travelers. The marks in this collection are "U" and "Z". The condition of these branding irons is good; they are sturdily built with a patina of oxidation due to weather and usage. The irons measure 37 1/2” and 38 1/2" long. The "U" is 1 1/2" x 2" and the "Z" is 3" x 3".