Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!

Union Web cast iron horseshoe

This is an interesting little horseshoe shaped advertising piece. Although shaped somewhat like a bottle opener, its roundness and thickness argue against that.

Was it intended for use as a paperweight? Or, considering it’s size and shape, could it have served as a stand for a small (toy) iron?


● Cast iron with two smoothed gate marks along the wider end.

● Measures 3 3/4″ x 3 3/4″ with three short cleats.

● Weighs 4.8 ounces.


● On reverse: the inscription ~ GOOD LUCK ~ can faintly be seen.

None of my reference books document this casting and I’ve been unable to find any company history online. However, on searching newspaper archives I discovered several Union Webb hammock advertisements that were published from 1880 to 1891.

I’ve also seen a number of collectible Union Webb Hammock trade cards. This card identifies Horace Partridge & Company as the sole agents of their hammock products in Boston, Massachusetts. It measures 3 1/2″ x 5 7/8″.

FYI, the distance between the Union Webb factory in Gloucester and downtown Boston was approximately 35 miles.

Update 5/8/22

A while back I received this comment from David S. Thornton. “Could this be a gizmo or a widget needed to secure or hold the many ropes of a hammock? Some of the Union Web trade cards accessible via Google may point in this direction.” 

Here’s a different Union Web trade card. Look closely at both ends of the hammock: the metal hooks appear to be very similar in shape to my horseshoe advertising piece. 

Conclusion: The three cleated supports on the reverse of my small horseshoe suggest it was an advertising piece. The actual hammock hooks likely had no cleats and were larger to accommodate the gathered ends of a woven hammock. 

If you have any additional information to share, please Contact Me.


This entry was posted on May 15, 2021 by in advertising stand, Antique Trivets & Stands and tagged , .

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