Branding iron

This branding iron was used in the 20th century to brand cattle with the letters "HC." While cattle and other livestock were introduced to Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean in the earliest years of Spanish settlement, by the 20th century most land on the island was geared towards a cash crop economy based on sugar cane, coffee, tobacco, and other agricultural products grown for export.
Description (Spanish)
Esta marca de hierro se usó en el siglo XX para marcar el ganado con las letras "HC". Si bien el ganado fue introducido en Puerto Rico y el Caribe durante los primeros años de la colonización española, ya para el siglo XX la mayoría de las tierras de la isla se destinaban a cultivos comerciales basados en la caña de azúcar, el café, el tabaco y otros productos agropecuarios sembrados para la exportación.
Currently not on view
Object Name
branding iron
Date made
20th century
Physical Description
iron (overall material)
overall: 7 cm x 9 cm x 28.5 cm; 2 3/4 in x 3 9/16 in x 11 1/4 in
place made
Puerto Rico
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Daily Life
Puerto Rico
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ethnic
Cultures & Communities
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Title (Spanish)
Marca de Hierro
Credit Line
Gift of Teodoro Vidal

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