Goodnight Irene

  Irene Woodward, also known as La Belle Irene, was a tattooed lady who performed during the 1880s. She made her New York debut just weeks after Nora Hildebrandt to great fanfare, including a report in the New York Times. She worked at Bunnell’s museum and successfully toured Europe. Onstage, she claimed to have been Read more about Goodnight Irene[…]

Eagles, Two Maidens and a Tiger

This article is by Chuck Eldridge at the Tattoo Archives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Reprinted here by his kind permission. Mr. Eldridge is a tattooist, and an acknowledged historian on the subject of tattoo history. If there is anything you want to know about the Tattoo World, Mr. Eldridge is your man. http://www.tattooarchive.com/ George Burchett Read more about Eagles, Two Maidens and a Tiger[…]

Pigtals no more when tattoos was tattoos: by Bob Crutch Crutchfield

Happy New Year , here are some pics from former crew members off my favorite Diesel Sub , these fellas sailed on her late 50s early 60s ,me late 60s early 70s….You can see Tats here in actual service at sea aboard,before Tats were considered K@@L haha,…one crewman with Swallows on chest another young crewman Read more about Pigtals no more when tattoos was tattoos: by Bob Crutch Crutchfield[…]

Snakes and High Heels

From exhaustive electroscopic comparison analysis at our very own International Institute for Tattoo Art Research, a division of Lift Trucks Project, our studies have led us to the following determination.  The large tattoo flash board from Dusty Rhodes studio is most certainly the handwork of Joseph Hartley. One element of our research over the course Read more about Snakes and High Heels[…]

Dusty Rhodes

The old tea china gently rattled as he walked down hand hewn wood stairs, fire cold dead now but for smoky remains. As he latched the door and walked the cobbled streets to work early morning sunlight streamed over mermaid shaped clouds. Shades of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Prof. Manley slowly became Dusty the Tattooist. Read more about Dusty Rhodes[…]

Tattoos on the Barbary Coast: Part II

Everything hidden creeps up through the sidewalks oozes through the cracks, crimes crying to be solved.  Shanghaied, rolling out under the Golden Gate.  Fog horns freight train whistles odd night noises music or…. tattoo signs, an old jackknife and some papers, a bottle of ink dried up now, somehow the big sheets made it by, Read more about Tattoos on the Barbary Coast: Part II[…]

Luck of The Irish

Tattoo artists often employed popular characters for sample art boards hanging in their atelier.  In this drawing by Thomas Berg, this pair from the comics are tossed in the mix with traditional sailors imagery of flags, dragons and, of course, mom. Jiggs and Maggie The humor centers on an immigrant Irishman named Jiggs, a former Read more about Luck of The Irish[…]

Swinging on a Star

Irene Woodward, born 1862, signed and incsribed  “Age 20…”  on this carte de viste. Probably for sale to adoring fans at the circus. That’s if we can believe she was 20 when she signed the the back of the card.  My other job is working in a liquor store so I’ve gotten pretty good at Read more about Swinging on a Star[…]

Dainty Dotty and Owen Jensen

Owen Jensen and Dainty Dotty: Owen Jensen was born in 1891 in Pleasant Grove, Utah. As a young man he worked in the railroad shop in Ogden, Utah. Jensen has said that in 1911 he walked 12 miles to Provo to see the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and that was where he saw his Read more about Dainty Dotty and Owen Jensen[…]

First Tattoo Pinup Ever?

 Samuel F. O’Reilly  After emigrating from Ireland in 1871, Samuel F. O’Reilly set up his tattoo business in the back of a barber shop at 11 Chatham Square, New York City. This image, showing a woman’s legs was considered quite racy in the late 1800s.  “A lady, when crossing the street, must raise her dress a Read more about First Tattoo Pinup Ever?[…]