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I was searching the internet, the other night, for any information on the history of tattooing in the UK, when I stumbled on this. It’s a tattoo museum in Liverpool , UK.

On the site they had some photos of antique tattoo machines powered by clockwork. I would have though these predate the electric tattoo machine and were made by a company called Newton & Wilson. Further searches on the internet indicates they specialised in making sewing machines.

Does anyone know anything about these or this type of machine. Where they used in the USA?

Did they catch on for a short while before becoming made obsolete by the advent of the electric powered version.?

They look as if they are beautifully made and were probably quite expensive.

I’m fascinated by old stuff like this, although my thing is restoring antique firearms.

I thought I would post some photos on here, courtesy of the Liverpool Tattoo Museum. www.Tattoomuseum.co.uk tattoo museum liverpool - Milton Zeis. There’s of lot of other interesting stuff on the site, as well.

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Wow, they're actually really beautiful. I'm sure I've seen something like this before, though I couldn't tell you where. I'm also really interested though if anyone has information! :)

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I can't find any other info on these machines. These are probably quite rare items.

No doubt there are some of these machines in the possession of people who have no idea what they are.

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Haha maybe, but I can see Milton Zeis' name at the top of that site, so wouldn't he own them? You could see if you can get in touch somewhere and ask.

Mate of mine were at this museum just today, I found out- maybe they'll know for sure! I'll send them this link and see if they can shed some light on when exactly these machines were used.

EDIT: Although it says there they belonged to Milton Zeis, there's another page that says they've been buying everything that's displayed, so whoever owns the museum must have bought them from whoever had them lying around. I guess that makes the owners of the museum the best people to ask.

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Last reply from me, promise! ;) My friend Sharron just said that she knows the guy who owns the museum, and he'll own everything that's there. His name's Willy, and if you go to the guest book page on the website, you can ask him anything there and he'll reply. :)

Wahey, another EDIT: Willy owns the Southport museum, but if you go to the Southport Museum's site, and go to the guest book there, you could still ask him and see if he knows. :) I'm having a terrible jumbled up day today, sorry for any confusion. I think I'll just go to bed now.

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I dont think Milton Zeis owns anything these days.

Those machines look awesome!

Perfect for traveling, tattooing the aristocracy and calling yourself 'professor'. That silk-lined case is amazing.

Even cooler than the prison-style clockwork razor contraptions.

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I dont think Milton Zeis owns anything these days.

Haha, this is true- I did say whoever had them lying around would have sold them, though I'd have no idea who that person would be- maybe if someone knows that, you'd be able to find out some really interesting stuff about those ones! I refuse to believe you stop owning things after you're dead- who's going to look after my old Pokémon cards when I'm gone?

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You also need a house full of leather-bound books, Patrick and David! And the whole house has to smell of mahogany. These are the rules.

Yes. I actually just stopped in at the Bowery Hotel over the weekend and the bar/sitting area is like straight out of the dapper 1920s/30s, palms and all, though with the dark wood walls it does harken to an even earlier turn-of-the-century time. I thought about these machines when I was sitting there drinking a whiskey. Downtown Lower East Side Hotels | Luxury Boutique Hotel NYC | Manhattan | Bowery Hotel, New York, NY

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That hotel looks amazing. Wow. I want to go now, or to somewhere like that. I live in a place that the council is constantly trying to make "modern" (whatever that means, I thought it was just a synonym for "ugly"), so I'm always jealous of places like that. When I have the money to go to New York myself, I'll be making sure I stay there, for real.

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I was also thinking they would make the ideal prison tattoo machine. Compact, easy to smuggle past the screws and no power supply to worry about

You've seen the Mark of Cain documentary about Russian prisons right?

I'm not sure if there's a UK/PAL version available. But there's region 1 versions on amazon.

But the ones you posted are a cut above.

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You also need a house full of leather-bound books, Patrick and David! And the whole house has to smell of mahogany. These are the rules.

not just mahogany, but RICH mahogany to be exact.

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You've seen the Mark of Cain documentary about Russian prisons right?

I'm not sure if there's a UK/PAL version available. But there's region 1 versions on amazon.

But the ones you posted are a cut above.

Yes I have. The tattooer uses a tattoo machine made out of a wind up shaver. Nice and quiet too, just the job. The tattoos in the first few minutes of that film are just incredable.

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