asradin

Tatoo History Books and Shops

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Hi,

This is my first post on these boards although I've been reading them for a long time. I'm a research chemist but have a number of tattoos (mostly from Stewart Robson) and I'm interested in the history of tattooing around the world. I've read around 20 different books (mostly available in your average book store) and was wondering if anyone on this forum could point me in the direction of either some intresting books on tattoo history or a shop which might stock more books on the subject than the average book shop. I live in Manchester in the UK but I'm willing to travel to find more information.

I'm not doing this for any other purpose than to expand my own knowledge on the area. I'm not looking for image reference books (I don't have the want to become a tattooer), just books containing any form of information about the history of tattooing world wide. I hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes or being disrespectful by asking. If I have been I apologise unreservedly.

Thanks :)

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McCabe's New York City Tattoo is great for New York during the 30s - 60s. Underway is the Only Way is a good contemporary type of history, the interviews in there are packed full of good stuff. Horitaka's Tattooing from Japan to the West is also interviews, pretty short but give you a good idea, lots of tattoers in there. That Dietzel book that just came out, These Old Blue Arms, is kind of a combination history+designs, just a really great one all around. These were just the few I could think of right off the top of my head.

Check out bookmistress.com / tattooarchive.com.

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Thanks for those. I'm waiting for my copy of These Old Blue Arms to arrive in the post so I'll look up any references that it contains. Also thanks for not biting my head off. I was worried that as a non tattooer it might be seen as me incroaching on someone else's territory. I've got a feeling I'll be spending a lot of money on those two sights as well

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Hiya,

I think you asked me bout books the last time I tattooed you, but I was thinking about tattoos, not books.

Maybe I mentioned Ed Hardy. Start with some of the books from Hardy Marks publishing. Like gougetheeyes said, Mike McCabe books and the Deitzel 'These Old Blue Arms' are cool.

There's a cool book by Phill Sparrow/Sam Steward called 'Bad Boys & Tough Tattoos' that's more oral-history type stuff. 'Memoirs of a Tattooist' by George Burchett is great, but usually expensive if you can find it.

'Stoney Knows How' is great.

The Sailor Jerry book 'American Tattoo Master' is cool.

There's a cool little book called 'MOKO' that's basically Captain Cook's natural history illustrator's account of what the saw in New Zealand.

There's some cool coffee-table style books on Tahitian tattoos, full of muscular naked dudes.

I think even 'Modern Primitives' has a bit of interesting tattoo info among the other stuff.

'A History of Japanese Body Suit Tattooing' has some cool historical info.

Taki's 'Bushido' and 'Tattoos of the floating world' are cool.

'Russian Prison Tattoos' by Alix Lambert.

That's all I can remember for now.

Mostly just check out the Hardy Marks and Schiffer publishing catalogues and work your way through them. Then use your research skills and the bibliographies to empty your wallet and fill your shelves.

Remember to leave some money for tattoos....

That's pretty much all I can say without giving away the titles of my secret reference/source books.

Enjoy.

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Thanks Stewart. I've already ordered way too many books today but I think I'll order some of them tomorrow. That way I'll have enough money when we start my back piece in October and I'll be (hopefully) a little bit more knowledgeable when we speak instead of having to laugh at Craig and the neverending stream of cock's he seems to draw :)

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Gentleman's Tattoo Flash can take hours away from my time, even when I don't have the money to buy one book. It's great.

Philadelphia Eddie has some canny books out, that I think are really cool. Other than that, Stewart's pretty spot on, especially with Stoney Knows How and Memoirs of a Tattooist. If you're really into Japanese tattoos as well, I'd say Japanese art books would be a no-brainer. :)

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Thanks everyone for the great advice. I've been lucky and managed to track down some books in library of the university I work at. My copy of These Old Blue Arms is on it's way and I'm just deciding what to buy next and also found some interesting places that I'm going to go and visit when I have the time/money :)

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JAllen: That was the first book I read on tattoo history. Really enjoyed it although I didn't agree with his theory that tattooing is esentially a homo erotic experience but it was very interesting.

Blue Monkey: Thanks for the suggestion. I've ordered it and I'm waiting for it to arrive in the next few days.

I've now got a huge wishlist of books that I'll be slowly filling my bookshelf with to go with all the fantasy novels and chemistry text books. Thanks again everyone

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JAllen: That was the first book I read on tattoo history. Really enjoyed it although I didn't agree with his theory that tattooing is esentially a homo erotic experience but it was very interesting.

i agree, but i do understand his theory especially considering the time it was written as well as having an academic/sociological approach to the book.

also, if you are in england i've heard that lionel tichner has a very nice museum in liverpool. www.Tattoomuseum.co.uk tattoo museum liverpool - HOME i'm hoping to check it out at some point. oh, an if you ever make it to ohio..rich t has an excellent museum that has loads of stoney st. clair and al schiefley stuff. really nice collection as well as having correspondence and photos of schiefley with les skuse.

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I heard about the museum in Liverpool. I'm planning to go and see it sometime in September when I'm not doing a million and one things at weekends. I did really enjoy the book though and it was insightful. I bought it for a few of my friends and they all agreed as well. Plus I just love the old style that it's written in.

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Just finished reading These Old Blue Arms, was really interesting and I love all the photos of the early 1900's people with full body suits. Just something about that look really speaks to me. I've also been reading a book which gives brief introductions to the history of tattooing in different nations especially places like Samoa and other Islands. Really interesting and it's cool to see where things first started. Has anyone else read These Old Blue Arms? If so what did you think?

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Hello,

Has anyone picked up the books put out by Marisa Kakoulas? She edited a series of large format books:

Black and Grey Tattoos

Black Art Tattoo

Color Art Tattoo

I have the first two, the first one is a 3 vol. set and the other two are single volumes.

I liked them alot, photos are gorgeous, there are some artist interviews, etc.

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I haven't heard about those. Do they have a lot of history in them or are they mainly photos of people's work? Where did you get them from if you don't mind me asking?

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Hello,

They are definitely photo books of tattoos, but they are very large, and have some interviews with the artists. I will post links on the needlesandsins blog for you:

Needles and Sins Tattoo Blog | Black & Grey Tattoo: From Street Art to Fine Art

Needles and Sins Tattoo Blog | Color Tattoo Art: Comics. Cartoon. Pin-Up. Manga. New School.

Needles and Sins Tattoo Blog | Black Tattoo Art Book Release

Sure you can find them on amazon, I got mine from there.

Thank you for putting up this thread! Is a big reader and new person to tattoos, so has a reading list now.

Cheers!

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Thanks, they look really cool and I'll add them to my reading list along with all the other books in this thread. I think there is an older thread with some other tattoo book suggestions but I don't know how to link it. Also the reference sections of the books I've been reading are gold mines. Although I think finding a copy of an explorer's diary from 1764 might be a bit of a task but it should make for interesting reading :)

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