shaneenholm

was tattooing as popular 100 years ago as now.....

42 posts in this topic

Well belive it or not it was...if you take the smaller world population into consideration.In fact what little documentation that exists,,notes and word of mouth it is pretty amazing...

why is there not more evidence of this....well first you have to get rid of the computer, not only cell phone cameras but all personal cameras altogether,oh yeah and mass travel...that was not around....also add into that a flavor of pious religious beliefs (including shamed families) why tatooers changed their names...

I got a good one..Bert grimm changed his name...well he was broke in by Grimshaw...wasn't Bob shaw broke in by grimm...grimshaw...grim...shaw...anyway i digress..yet again

Ok Trixie richardson said she did 10,000 butterflies in the summer of 1926 at the jersey shore...that is alot of butterflies..is it not?

Now there is documentation of uptown clothing companies coming down to the bowery to use patterns out of sample books...(like before portfolios a tattooer would have a smaple book..it was flash that he had painted,spparrows ,snakes flowers,whatever...)anyway they were making bathing suits out of those designs...they were all the rage...sound familiar???

So someone did a study in london in the early 20th century and they figured 15 percent of women had a tattoo on their lower body with in the city and 7 percent natiowide...that is pretty hefty....how accurate i am not sure and since i am not at home but on a borrowed computer i cannot give you a footnote to where i got the info..but i will dig it up for you guys....

So you figure fashion too...if all these women had tattoos well guys were popping bonors over seeing a chicks ankles who knows if your great great grandma was packing a pharoahs horese,or a butterfly....

Now i always thought the sailor jerry rage was overwhelming..and i spent a fair amount of time pointing out that there were lots of other tattooers with volumes of work/flash etc...but not many were lucky enough to have someone like Mike malone buy the shop and all its contents intact...you had either a landlord that hauled it all to the dump,or a family that was ashamed and did the same...pretty heavy when you think about it.....

I also have a theory that the wall street crash really effected tattooing as a whole but i believe by 1929 it was on the downside anyway...Theys say wagner was rich until the crash..then he could be found outside his shop hustling work for his breakfast...I always found it interesting that percy waters did not aplly for his tattoo machine patent until 1929..wagners was 1904...perhaps Percy knew wagner did not have the $$$$$ to fight him in court by then..but 10 years before..well...

anyway back to my theory..I think tattooers were extremely talented around the turn of the century...anyone ever seen Artoria Gibbons body suit, with portraits and all....Red gibbons did it...or Andy strutz body suit...they has smokin suits...I mean saaaamokin.....The books turning up now Dietzels, Cordays show that tattooers a hundred years ago were very talented and learned in art....

I think afterr the wall street crash it declined...especially after during the war....anyway my customer is here...more later

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You see I think it goes in cycles..i remembered when i first got tattooed the tattooer told me kings and queens and royalty getting tattooed....(little did I know HE was tattoo royalty)and then convicts...unfashionable.....and then it became fashionable ...again....this recent..last decade maybe just a little longer is the "in fashion" times...not diffrent than elephant bells.....or hip huggers...baggy verse tight...crimefighter underwear versus boxers...well thats pushing it there....

But if you look at the recently released Ben corday and amund dietzel books...those designs were the artistic forefather of ones that later became cruder...after someone did a rubbing...then copied it...to someone else not as articulate... that arm became less graceful...or a certain line was left out Ii will try and give you an example tonite(hopefully)there is a hula girl that Corday drew that you see in so many other peoples flash..some drew it very well..others missed the mark....and you can see it mutate...

In fact the center of roses...changed...and i think it was a mistake...you see ones with the classic s and y shape...well the s in the center...I see guys do them now with the 3 petals..which was a posiitive mutation..they look good..but it came from a missing line in the stencil....

I think with the explosion of artists now it is really hard to tell where people learned from...the access to all the reference that was so protected...now its easy to see what a good dragon looks like etc.....so with popularity comes what...mud...in a sense...

I digress....I think the genre that was born in the last 20 years of tattoo painting is amazing.....It still does not have a name..like impressionism or surrealism...Where a hundred years ago ..tattooers paInted to have designs...now they paint to paint...

In fact there was a period where(at least in my experience) a young tattooer was not allowed to paint flash...if you did the guys that brought you in that painted all the flash in their shop would ask"why are you doing that..." painting? " ...you gonna open your own shop?"...use our flash....or you wanna know how to mix colors...why??? you gonna open your own shop??? use our colors...etc....

but of course that is all diffrent now...and no i am not bitching about the state of things...because to tell ya the truth..I stay busy..so what do i care about 20,000,000 tattooers now...as long as i have work......it really does not effect me...EXCEPT NOW ITS HARDER TO GET OLD MACHINES AND FLASH BECAUSE EVERYONE IS COLLECTING...that is my only gripe now i guess....

I DIGRESS AGAIN...what i was saying was at ome point in the mid 20th century not as many tattooers had the talent artisically as at the turn of the century.....

That is why some of them shined so brightly....again it comes in circles..or little circles..no I mean cycles...

Lochlan and tattooedj like this

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Thank you, I'm really enjoying your tattoo history posts. Keep them coming, along with the informative digressions.

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I agree with you on the "smokin suits" I know a lot of the newer tattooers are grabbing on to the trad look which I think is a great starting or ending point for that matter. What I'm hoping to see develop out of all of this is more development in picking back up on the circus suit look rather than the haphazard patch look ( which I also like) . I wonder if all this trad mania is going off because ..One- its less difficult than some of the other styles. And two, in a bunk economy , its more viable to get a cool one session tattoo versus the 3-6,000 dollar japanese sleeve that was popular after Bushido came out. I'm hoping for myself to start delving into some personal artwork that develops the Americana body suit. Love your posts on History !

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For real- thanks for taking the time to type all this up. Super good reads!

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That's so awesome that you wrote this. It trips me out because earlier today I saw an old design in a book of flash from the 20's, and some of the designs were so familiar that I looked through all my books of more recent flash painted by living artists, and was totally tripping out on the progression or lack thereof of some of the designs. A lot of the stuff looked like they had pretty much traced the old acetate and added a few flairs or whooptydoo's here and there, but otherwise kept the design pretty much the same. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I was talking with my friend the other day as we flipped through the new Ben Corday book, and he made a good point that I agreed with...If people stopped drawing tattoos today, there is so much rad shit out there that it wouldn't really bother us all that much. People were getting tattoos at the turn of the century who's designs still look good 110 years later.

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I agree with you on the "smokin suits" I know a lot of the newer tattooers are grabbing on to the trad look which I think is a great starting or ending point for that matter. What I'm hoping to see develop out of all of this is more development in picking back up on the circus suit look rather than the haphazard patch look ( which I also like) . I wonder if all this trad mania is going off because ..One- its less difficult than some of the other styles. And two, in a bunk economy , its more viable to get a cool one session tattoo versus the 3-6,000 dollar japanese sleeve that was popular after Bushido came out. I'm hoping for myself to start delving into some personal artwork that develops the Americana body suit. Love your posts on History !

i agree with you completely Dean, but i feel like there may be 2 other reasons why the patchwork look is popular again today (according to the researcher I've done, it originally gained popularity during/post WWII):

1) there are many different artists out there, all with various talents and signature styles, and therefore it's hard for people (like myself) to commit to one artist or just one style, and therefore it's desirable to have work done by artists who fall within a given category (such as traditional), but without having to commit to one artist, or to loose out on having work done by another.

2) what is old is new again (and as Shane points out) and it's trendy. this may make it more viable for new artists who are popping up in the community, by providing a service that is in high demand. this could also be a good argument for promoting the older style "suits"

just my 2 cents.

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Oh and Shane, thank you for posting this! if you've (or anyone else for that matter) come upon anything (or have knowledge of) tattooing here in California during the turn of the 20th century, i'd love to compare notes or discuss it further. i've just been swamped this week with homework, work, and gearing up for my trip so i haven't had a chance to type anything up for you guys (and what i prepared for the proposal was a brief overall history, not an in-depth one) on the tribal practices i've found.

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thanks for saying that you guys..i had about 40 minutes between tattoos and i was trying to post something outside "machines"...you know alot of this is in the book "tattoo" secrets of a strange art" albert parry...dover(one of my favorite publishers) republished it for 10.00...TEN BUCKS>>>YOU CAN BARELY BUY A DECK OF SQUARES FOR THAT...get it read it..enjoy it.....

page 9..."in the summer of 1925 alone,Trixie richardson herself an intricate exhibit,practised on the beaches of new jersey and placed some 10,000 butterflies,forget me nots and what nots on her lady customers"

Also I agree about the circus suits....though at bert grimms height they waned...now i would not be tattooing if it was not for bert grimm...you can tie me back to him,as alot of my frineds...and Bert grimm did alot ofr tattooing..gave his life for it...along with inventing the photo booth...no shit...now i know he told tall tales..tattooed bonnie and clyde,john Dillenger etc...but don't we all tell tall tales....however and the risk of disrespecting him..you can see a decline in work between grimshaw and grimm.....However grimms protege was a smokin tattooer....but that is a good example of how the work declined.....the tattooers at the turn of the century were artists...and tattooers....that changed to tattooers...which whatever.... now there are more artists tattooing than ever...and more nitwits too..I am afraid....

I AM JUST GRATEFUL TO BE APART OF IT...TO STILL BE ALIVE AND NOT DIGGING DITCHES OR RUNNING A JACKHAMMER(well if you saw my tattoos that point may have a double meaning)

Also traditional...OK that has really come into its own...but what is traditional...now i know what traditional designs are...bold lines ,texas thirds,thrid black third color third skin...or the 20 20 rule..tell what it is at 20 feet or within 20 seconds...however...and i love the aesthetic...i (at times line with loose groupings etc....but lets look at that....

people back 100 or even 60 years ago mostly lined with 4s....now did that 4 put in that bold line or did time put in that bold line....four flats were also common...ok so these guys were doing body suits with the last supper,president portraits,pharoahs horses,the king the crown and the cross(remember that one?)quickly....I learned with flats...well single was the rage but I did not pick up a mag until i started again...Flats take longer but really put it in....these guys were not breaking out the 25 mags etc....that to me is amazing....the throw on their machines was the almost nickel dime thing...also they did not have liner shader custom machines per se'

Oh i am sure each shop and area had its secrets....but if wagner had a liner and shader we woulda heard about it...maybe not thru him because he did not really have a catalog....he did have bill jones until he died though...aand that guy was a HAWG...4 real....but if he had that secret surely when percy waters went up and worked for him and got his Professor title....before their big falling out then wouldn't we see it in his numours catalogs....you know bill jones is the one who told percy about the machine shop in detroit he fled to...or went to...I am getting off track here...but my point to tattooers reading this is imagine doing body suits like those with four and fours...WOW!!!!! Dull ones too...

what was it a needle breaks in about the fourth tattoo..come on....so with the advances in tattoo mechanics...well have we advanced.?????.i know those pics are black and white(i will try and post some of these bodysuits) but they look great...i mean really great....give or take a few....but remember the time frame when you are searching them out.......

like there is a famous pic of captain elvy Fosdick (who was like the west coast or oregon wagner) did ...thosse roses are a trip...but the date is 43...not 1903...

and i have not even begun to discuss how they patterned that shit....put that thought in your subconscience crack pipe and smoke it...

they were doing those suits fast...i will find some reference of how fast and post it..i have it lying around here somewhere....(and berts early work was really nice so I am not badrapping him...I know he and bob shaw painted like 140 shhets of flash in a weekend....maybe 139..i have some of them..they are really really really nice....so if that gives you any idea...

This era is diffrent than coleman or what era coleman is remebered for..I am not talking about the 50 sailors out the door....that is another favorite thing i talk to friends about...todays tattooers are really really good...but if you put them in a shop with 50 sailors could they clean up.... anyway i talk too much...

I digress...read that book...i have a few others with a paragraph here or a page there... but generally that one has it all.....and is priced to buy...

MadeIndelible likes this

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thanks again Shane! will definitely check it out.

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tattooob.jpg

This picture is not good enough...but dig her shins...dig george....with what little you can see...red gibbons tattooed her.....well its his wife and one would think he tattooed her unless you go with the theory that you do not want to tattoo yer wife because then you have to look at your mistakes everyday for the rest...well you get the idea right? no Artoria was tattooed by red gibbons...he was a monster tattooer....I have really good pics in my station at work but i will have to scan them for ya...which means take them out of the frame etc.....

and though it may seem like i spend alot of time on here..i can type fast as i think...almost....

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Shane

Thanks for getting me thinking about this. I agree with what you are saying about the popularity of tattoo then as to now. I do believe it was probably just as popular taking all your examples into consideration. A lot of us bitch about civilians being able to buy equipment off the internet but if I’m not mistaken Wagner and Waters where advertising their catalogs in the back of Popular Mechanics and other magazines. And Zeis had a mail order correspondence school back then. If there was a correspondence school the tattooers now would be in an uproar about it.

I’m not sure about elsewhere in the country but the research I did on South State Street in Chicago showed that hundreds of tattooers had pass through Chicago and had set up shop to tattoo on South State Street, everyone had a turn at it, it was just as popular as the Bowery or the Pike.

The South State Street levee as it was called was jammed full of arcades, burlesque shows, bars and flop houses, it was considered in the 30s, and 40s the worst red light district this country had ever seen, but what really got the neighborhood jam packed and the tattooers slammed was that in the middle of all of this was the Army and Navy recruiting stations. These recruits flooded the area everyday to enlist and then went back every two weeks on day weekend to indulge in all that life or South State had to offer until they were shipped out. In Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos Phil Sparrow talks about the constant flow of sailors to the neighborhood and how busy it was.

So that’s just a small example of the popularity of tattooing at that time in a 4 block square area, image that across the entire country, war is good for business and at that time amazing for the tattoo business.

As everyone knows Tuttle probably has the largest most vast collection of tattoo memorabilia anywhere, but I was told that he has somewhere of about 4000 hand painted sheets of flash , that’s inconceivable the amount of tattooing that was done off that flash. And most of it was from the early part of the 20th Century

Danny Derrick likes this

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I ordered the Zeis school of tattooing booklet from the Tattoo Archive, and it's pretty awesome reading. For sure if something like that was going on now, people would be freaking out.

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Nick thanks for the reply...i have read sparrows book....but know little about Chicago...I hears the mob had a hold on that area at some point...Hey i read mob books..alot of them and the outfit is my favorite..Aiuppa, Accardo..bob roberts favorite too...anyway isn't there a film or a written interview about philadelphia eddie working in chicago and that the guys running the shop/arcade tried to hand him a gun like "here put this in a drawer..." but eddie opend the drawer rather than touch the gun??? I guess he thought it was a murder weapon and they could blackmail him...I guess they did it to alot of artists back then....I got a customer

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Yep as far as i have heard through stories the mob ran that whole area including the tattooing. Everyone kicked to them the tattooers, the dancers, the bookies, everyone. As far as mobsters go Accardo was the best. Never spent as much as a night in the clink and there's no cooler nickname than Joe Batters. He got it cuz of the severe baseball bat beatings he used to give!!!

Below is a pic of Tatts Thomas and his wife at the time and Owen Jensen and Dainty Dotty this pic was supposedly taken on South State Street, like i said everyone was supposed to have been through there.

Danny Derrick likes this

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Thanks for sharing that picture...I somehow always end up with things of owens...but i never tried to get them..someone dies and tells there family to give their stuff to me..or someone approaches me with something he owned etc....

i have dainty dotties memorium..like the little booklet that everyone signed at her funeral...I tattooed leeroys grandsons back for it...it is a bad marfar....Mckeever signed it...sutton, sailor west and on and on...I have some of owens stuff..his engraver ,his spring punch a few of his personal machines....I had that left handed wagner he is pictured tattooing(or acting like he was tattooing) on some guys chest..like sparrows...it is a pretty well known photo

anyway i traded it for an nevr been used Paul rogers swiss cheese prefab..#8 in 1983 to my pal charlie parsons...he had never got up off one of his PRs before...anyway sometimes i regret trading it....but as Mike wilson says..."shane you actually went into a time machine and came out with a PR...."

yeah for a while i was on ahuge mob book kick..bob was the only guy i know that has read as many as i have....Im think everything was run by the outfit at one time or another...the first ward...pat marcy....you guys had aldermans that were made...There is a book out now called 'a mob of his own about mad sam destefano....that guy was a real nut job...

again thanks for sharing that picture.....

Danny Derrick likes this

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very interesting to read, thanks for posting it

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The answer to the question of tattoos being popular 100 years ago? 1910, sure, but it was all part of a rhythm that started long before 1910 and the tattooing had escalated to "common folks"....again.

It's all read like a chart from the beginning of the recorded history here in North America and "secrets of a strange art" can be found to have plenty of holes and allot of sensationalism in content if you dig deep enough but it's good reading just the same.

At the time of 1910 things had brewed to mainstream from what it was at 1880, a social symbol of the home parlor invite, only for the privileged and in vogue with social elite. When it came to the circus and traveling shows and fairgrounds of the turn of the 20th Century and up to 1910 the common folks were finding it popular and the higher society then dissed it as it didn't belong to them anymore and such statements were made from those on high that "tattooing, if an art at all, is the most barbaric that man ventured into". Now remember that the tattooing done prior was of the fanfare to the Civil War in design and desire, all part of a charted and marked rhythm up to present day. Consume everything from social studies done on tattooing, the psychology papers of Doctors of their field which were way off base and an illustration of how far we have come now in social acceptance again, studies they had supposedly "proving" erotica, decadence, homosexual urges, all kinds of crazy to the "prison bound" papers of record.

To study everything page by page we all have to look not to the public relations articles and condensed tattoo history books but rather the articles of news as reported wether it dealt with a tattoo storefront altercation, a missing persons file, arrest records, commitment papers, even social security records have their indications into "what was going on and when". But back to the highs and lows of the "trend" as most people refer to it, The technology we have today does play a large part in the cycle of the up and down and the evolution of tattooing, we no longer have to hit every convention to keep up on most works and we use the net to buy books and converse, some could say the internet is burning us down and others will work off of the net and use it as the tool it was intended for, but wayyyyy back when it had it's peaks and then it's valleys and that does not change, there have always been high's and low's in the demand and trend. Only the evolution of tattooing becomes the victor and wins out, now this is including the bad with the good as some people tattooing today don't stop to understand where and when the "carney" reputation came from or out of and that would be found in the multiple era's of tattooing's high's and low's, such as the era of 1915 with tattooing being something found crossing the country in the carnival entertainment arena and into the smaller cities and the shops of the bigger cities and at a very fast growth, the entertainment people seek today can be found in todays "teck" dealing with tattooing on the living room's boob tube and the internet without leaving the house by horse and carriage as in circus days, people were entranced and entertained at a circus back then before all the teck of today no different than they are today watching reality programs. Thus the sub culture turns to pop culture and then trends out until the return no different than clothing fads, etc.. By 1915 we seen the popularity starting to wain with the general population until WW-I came and gave another dose to the tattoo vein and it rode out a little longer. There is such an overwhelming amount to consume that I can't begin to write enough to help everybody understand on this site and in this post but I can tell you that the nature of the beast doesn't change with the evolution of the art. So many believe that there were only those few that were wrote about historically in publications on the "study" of tattooing and very few ever wrote anything that was published directly from the hand of the person who spent 50+ years of their live in the business of slinging ink.

So lets use Charlie Wagner for an example of our nature and the trend. Charlie was the most publicized artist/tattooer of the turn of the 20th Century, but he started out in a second floor bowery room before his tenure with O'Reily, bad mouthed by his competition and himself fighting for his earnings in the trade. He then won out and onto the Chatham Square location, elevating himself along with the trend of that time through and after WW-I and becoming elevated to the stature that we term "rock star" today, he rode out the waves and then hit the lows with the Great Depression era starting in 1929 and still maintaining his place and earning a living on his work and equipment sales until 1940's WW-II when he again seen a resurgence of even more tattooers coming out of the woodwork to handle such "overflow" that he couldn't handle and seeing shops with multiple tattooers popping up all around him riding the gravy train, probably something he never expected in his trade and this is not to say that there were not many many tattooers across this Country at that time and growing in numbers, there were so many I can't type them all here or I will be up all night. Now roll past WW-II, it's 1952, the war trend for tattoos was over but people had money and industry was booming, the availability and shops by the numbers were all surrounding him and back to the bad mouthing and disrespect he seen at his start many years before, people seen the ability to make a high return on a low dollar investment and seized opportunity no different than we are seeing now with 50 dollar kits making everybody a "Tattoo Artist" from trailer park to uptown. Charley had come to be surrounded by people who came to demand all the business and not miss snagging every customer they could, shops were strategically located around the City and to set up directly across the street of another shop was considered breaking the code but even that code came to be broken after Charlies death in 1953, so big it grew that NYC didn't know how to control it and couldn't "control" it and it became easier to kill it with the ban than to try and regulate it within a decade, movement began then like it is now in the "guest spot" aspect, etc., but more to my point of the nature of the beast not changing, at the time of Charlie's death he had come to be surrounded by others who regarded him as an alcoholic working under a stairwell in the back corner of a barber shop after once being the rock star of the earlier era, this cannot be denied. But it remains the fact that Charlie Wagner "was" and what he was is a man who endured with his art as one of the few totally freehand tattoo artist's who created what he did and came to the end of his life with what was behind him, that would be his life invested in the study of what he did to have it become the only thing he knew, and that is a hard legacy to follow and a reputable one worthy of all of my respect. The beast is that there hasn't been much change in the percentile of us in our own nature as tattooists and artists, some keep it real, others contribute but aren't certain of where it will take them, and there are those who burn it down without a care to honor the trade, some start out as your best known associate and neighboring shop to turn into a ruthless back stabber over a buck.

People have been speaking about the "Old School" now for some years, there is nothing but the newest school at all times in the evolution of this trade and art, every revival of tattooing has brought more study to it in approach as art in design like light source and effect to better understanding of the health areas and the understanding of the medical aspect, pigments and more.

All those great artists who created the Pharaohs Horses, the Rock of Ages, the Battle Royal, the Duel in the Sun, fusing the Asian influence, fantasy art, and the list goes on and on in creativity to tomorrow morning when I wake up.

We now are seeing and feeling the effects of more tattoo shops than starbuck coffee houses and shops are working the same angles they did from back when, 1957 show's us the era where it had become the same per capita as it is today, one shop has "over 500 designs" in the advertisement so the one around the corner had to state "over 1000 designs" to choose from, they started wearing doctor's smocks and the other did the same but put up signs of ":sanitary conditions" just to get an edge over the other because the trade had overgrown itself to what we call bologna times.

Royboy Cooper said in the 1980's that "Tattoo's are in their golden years" meaning that it is back on the shelf again, soon the news magazines printed articles stating that "Tattoos are coming to be in vogue"( not stating "again"), we started seeing design trend after trend, unicorns,dolphins, I KNOW I couldn't have predicted how far "tribal" would evolve when we started by culture ripping the Isles to now having it part of our culture in three dimensional form with shaded background and color and the many ways we have now wacked tribal, etc., but that is the evolutionary side again.

It's almost of no use in understanding as much of what is important and that is that there will always be the desire of some to mark their bodies and what it will evolve to is beyond our comprehension. The nature of the beast however doesn't change that much, we hear the tales of how people handled competition back when with baseball bats and how we don't do that now, but that again is part of the cycle and we will see it again and it still happens from time to time but more in the form of windows getting shot out and such, jeebers! Just Google "tattoo artist arrested" and you can see some of what's burning us down with people from shops tattooing the under age minors, to the kitchen magicians in the news for some drug arrest with the article title being "tattoo artist arrested on drug charges" like his doing tattoos at his trailer had some connection to drug charges,arghh! It reminds of the days when the articles of notorious Richard Speck the mass murderer always seemed to end with "And he had 'Born to Raise Hell' tattooed on his arm" like it was a connection somehow, and it was connected by one psychologists paper back in 1981 and accepted by that degree holdin mutha f@#ker, and all the middle class Mommies read it and felt they had a better understanding of "what tattoos are", now they have seen enough reality programing off of cable satellite to motivate that same person into the shop for a cancer ribbon, wow! What long strange trip it's been. So it remains, there is not so much an old school as there is newer evolution and no matter what comes there will always be customers, so whatever it becomes, there will always be work and the only thing we will one day have behind us is to see some of those tattooing today become those that others will someday come to research and critique. I don't think Charlie Wagner could foresee a simple photograph of him standing outside of his big shop on Chatham Square sell at an auction house for thousands of dollars but some tattooing now will leave the same kind of legacy someday, just takes time to come back around.

I really am sorry if any of you found this to be the most boring waste of reading time, and for that I do apologize, I just felt compelled to comment as there has always been "popular" with some and always will be and there is a whole lot to dig up and read if you search and if you end up like myself with tattooing and the people you know through it being closer than your own blood relation then you will see the history more as a Family Tree.

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the nature of the beast doesn't change with the evolution of the art.

Good Christ that was a great rant! Well said and dead on. And I actually read the whole thing. All you need is some spaces and punctuation and you've got yourself a master's thesis.

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Great fucking post Hawk!! Most interesting part was about the natural progression of guest spots due to the ban. You got any more info about this?

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