20 quick tattooing history facts

New Zealand’s Roger Ingerton moved to Sydney, Australia in 1957, and tattooed with hand tools around the local pubs and for a time in his living accommodation.

He also started to get tattooed by Australian tattooing legend Alex Chater as well as getting worked on by Sailor Bill – on the veranda of Bill’s home studio in Liverpool Street, Paddington (Sydney) – And in Melbourne, Roger got tattooed by possibly one of the best Australian tattoo artists of his day – and that was Dick Reynolds – who was known for tattooing completely freehand with out drawing the design on first, or having to use a stencil.

2. The people of the Micronesia Islands believed that if they were not tattooed they would not be allowed to enter the next world after death, and this is what the Inuit (Eskimo) people also believed.

3. The Inuit (Eskimo) people would tattoo themselves, in much the same way, as one would darn a sock – with a thread that would be dipped in ink and pulled through the skin like stitching. Their tattoos would consist of lines and cross’s and in some cases tattooed completely from knee to groin as well as on the arms and thighs.

4. In the Islands of Samoa in the South Pacific there are (were) three goddesses of tattooing – Taema and sisters Sina and Sena.

5. The word in Japanese for tattoo is Irezumi – which roughly translates, tattooing for punishment.

6. Hawaiian people used to tattoo their tongue with dots when a loved one passed away as a state of mourning.

7. Henry J Topping who was once the husband of film star Lana Turner, had both his arms tattooed, and not only was being married to Miss Turner one of his claims to fame, he was also at one time the proud joint owner of the New York Yankees baseball team.

8. Thomas Lipton (later Sir Thomas) had a tattoo of a sailing yacht tattooed on his chest. Lipton of course was the famous British tea merchant.

9. During the Second World War, the King of Norway Haakon VII relocated to England so he could lead his countries war effort through exile. And while he was in London he was tattooed by one of the capitals finest tattooers Tom Riley, who did the tattooing at 432 The Strand.

10. Tattoo Jack of Liverpool, England worked in Boaler Street in the 1940’s and was believed to have been the first tattoo artist in England to use other peoples designs. British tattooers of the time usually only tattooed on designs they drew themselves.

11. Hugh O’Brian tough guy actor and star of over 45 feature films and is best loved, for his role in the television series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. Had a skull and cross bones tattoo on the inside of his right forearm, which he got when he was in the US Marine Corps.

12. In June of 1914 Irish woman Queenie Morris appeared as a tattooed lady with both legs and arms completely covered in tattoos at London’s Earls Court – Her tattooist was the famed Prof. Joseph Kilbride.

13. In 1966 Huck Spaulding of the Spaulding and Rogers tattoo supply company fame stated that there would be a tattoo shop on every street corner one day. And now in the year 2005 there are more tattoo studios then ever before.

14. Wally Hammond famed Australian tattoo artist, passed away on the 7th of September 1992 in Noosa on the Sunshine State. Wally was one of the first to set up a professional tattooing shop on the Kings Cross of Sydney, New South Wales and was indeed a tattoo artist who many other tattoo artists looked up to.

15. Dickie Reynolds who tattooed for fifty years in Melbourne, Australia before retiring in 1985, is thought to be one of the longest serving tattoo artists in Australian tattooing history…

16. In Perth, Western Australia in 1960 there was only one tattoo artist and his name was Bob Thornton.

17. Betty Cusko of Australia was a heavily tattooed female who featured in the Kobel photograph collection of the 1950’s. It is not known if she worked the sideshow circuits.

18. South London tattoo artist, England’s Barry Louvaine did the artwork for the cover of ‘The Stranglers’ 1984 hit ‘Skin Deep’. CBs records gave Barry full credit for this on the E.P’s back cover liner notes.

19. Walkers Crisps’ gave away free stick-on tattoos with their ‘Cheetos Puffs’ snacks in the year 2000.

20. In 1969, cult American rock singer, composer and lyricist Jim Morrison of the band the ‘Doors’ had a book of his poetry published entitled ‘The Lords and The New Creatures’ in a limited edition of one hundred copies – of which he gave to family and friends. On pages 66 and 104, there are two poems that mention tattooing.

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One comment on “20 quick tattooing history facts

  1. Handlebar says:

    Keep it coming Paul! Great stuff!

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