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John P. Hale Branding Iron Collection

Identifier: RC2022-009

Scope and Contents

In addition to irons from the great Western ranches, Hale acquired examples from Argentina, Mexico, Hawaii, Canada and Australia, along with specimens from the collections of Will Rogers, the Duke of Windsor, governors, senators, congressmen and authors.

This collection was originally formed as part of the provenance records when Hale's branding irons were part of the Arizona Scouting Museum. As such, the original file order has been retained from their organization of the collection. It contains Hale's correspondence with numerous people, ranches, and organizations about branding irons, along with publication submissions and other related documents. There is currently not a box list for this collection, but the full inventory from the Arizona Scouting Museum is available as an associated digital object for this collection.


  • circa 1900-circa 2000


Conditions Governing Access

The John P. Hale Branding Iron Collection has no restrictions and is available for research. If you are interested in researching the materials, please contact the Dickinson Research Center to make an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

The John P. Hale Branding Iron Collection is the property of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Materials, even if owned by the NCWHM, may be protected under third party copyright. It is the patron’s responsibility to research and secure any such additional copyright and pay any required fees or royalties. It is not the intention of the NCWHM to impede upon any third party rights, and the NCWHM cannot be held responsible if the patron is involved in legal action due to violation of third party copyright claims.

Biographical / Historical

John P. Hale (1903-1942) was an insurance agent from Mesa, Arizona, who collected branding irons. His wife and daughter were also involved in his collecting. Hale became nationally known not only for his large collection but also his knowledge of branding history. In 1940, he co-wrote "Hot Irons: Heraldry of the Range" with Western novelist Oren Arnold.


6.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains documentation of John P. Hale's acquisition of branding irons from various cattle ranches in the United States and around the world. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum acquired his collection in 2022, and the branding irons are now part of the object collection.

Processing Information

The John P. Hale Branding Iron Collection was purchased by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 2021 from the Arizona Scouting Museum.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the NCWHM Special Collections at Dickinson Research Center Repository

1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 73111 United States