Who Invented Tattoo Machine?

Who Invented Tattoo Machine

Do you have any tattoos? If so, you can probably thank Thomas Edison. In 1875, Edison and his team invented a device that was the first practical application of the electric motor. His portable copy machine never was a huge success, but it did have long-lasting implications.

How did it work? What was its history? And what does any of that have to do with tattoos? Well, sit back and read. It’s a fascinating tale. A brief history of copying The movable-type printing press, as you might be aware, was invented in the 15th century by Johannes Gutenberg, who built on the successes of inventors from Asia centuries before.

The printing press was revolutionary. For the first time in history, it made printed works available to the general public. The process could be used to mass produce books or newspapers much more quickly than ever before, and it led to the spreading of knowledge throughout the world.

However, using a printing press was cumbersome and labor intensive — and it required the possession of a printing press. What if the average person wanted to make copies of important documents? In the 1870s, an Italian named Eugenio de Zuccato received a patent for a process that used corrosive ink to create a stencil that could then be used to reproduce handwriting.

The papyrograph process was rather involved , using lacquer-coated paper and a modified letter press, but the idea was key. If there were an easier way to create and use stencils, perhaps they were the key to home copying. Bringing the stencil process mainstream Enter Thomas Edison and his assistant, Charles Batchelor.

  • Their goal was to use their vast knowledge of electricity to create a device that could use stencils to simply and easily produce copies of handwriting;
  • Batchelor’s Technical Notes and Drawings contains a drawing dated July 18, 1875, of a “pen for autographic press” that looks somewhat like a standard writing pen with a battery-powered motor attached to the top;

The electric pen was born. Here’s how the pen worked: The electric motor at the top of the pen turned a cam, which when turning caused a needle to extend through the end of the pin and prick a hole in the paper. The pen’s cam worked like a cam in an internal combustion engine, turning radial motion into linear as the needle extended and withdrew rapidly to make patterns of perforations in the paper, wherever the user’s hand was writing.

Once the paper was perforated as desired, the user would then take an inking roller to pass ink through the perforations to a piece of paper (or other material) beneath. Copy complete! Edison and his team sold the pens in 1875 and 1876, at which point they turned the process over to Western Electric Manufacturing Company, who was to manufacture and sell the pens and pay royalties to Edison.

Their goal in 1877 was to produce at least 200 pens per month. By 1880, a number of competitors were in the market, and the Edison electric pen was in decline, according to research from Bill Burns. (By the way, if you want to see an electric pen in person, stop by the SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention in downtown Bellingham — once we’ve reopened, anyway — and check it out.

  1. ) A new industry is born Edison’s electric pen, despite being the first practical use of the electric motor, wasn’t a huge success;
  2. However, as is the case throughout the history of electrical invention, the technology lived on;

In 1891, inventor Samuel O’Reilly received a patent for a tattooing machine that was based on the electric pen. Previously, tattoo artists had been able to perforate the skin about two or three times per second. O’Reilly’s device could perforate the skin at an incredible 50 times per second.

According to Inked Magazine, the tattoo machine ” completely revolutionized the industry ,” and in the 130 years since, the device hasn’t even changed a whole lot. Faster and better tattoos may not have been what Edison had in mind, but his and Batchelor’s work would live on long after the uneventful passing of the electric pen.

Editor’s note: For a more complete overview of Edison’s electric pen, read this extensive and excellent report from Bill Burns of FTL Design..

Where was tattoo machine invented?

History [ edit ] – The predecessor to the tattoo machine was the electric pen. invented by Thomas Alva Edison and patented under the title Stencil-Pens in Newark, New Jersey, United States in 1876. [2] It was originally intended to be used as a duplicating device, but in 1891, Samuel O’Reilly discovered that Edison’s machine could be modified and used to introduce ink into the skin, and later patented a tube and needle system to provide an ink reservoir.

  • While O’Reilly’s machine was based on the tattoo rotary technology of Edison’s device, modern tattoo machines use electromagnets;
  • The first machine based on this technology was a single coil machine patented by Thomas Riley of London , just twenty days after O’Reilly filed the patent for his rotary machine;

For his machine, Riley placed a modified doorbell assembly in a brass box. The modern two-coil configuration was patented by Alfred Charles South, also of London. Because it was so heavy, a spring was often attached to the top of the machine and the ceiling to take most of the weight off the operator’s hand.

  1. ″To move tattooing forward, German tattoo artist Manfred Kohrs had to take a look backward;
  2. ″ In 1978 Kohrs “introduced the first new design for a rotary machine in nearly a century;
  3. His machine was functionally similar to O’Reilly’s except an electric DC motor, rather than electrified magnets, drove the needles;

This slimmer and streamlined version became lighter, quieter, and more portable. It also gave artists more control while ensuring the operator’s hands and fingers cramped less. While some artists gravitated to this rotary revival, others preferred to stick with their trusty coil machines.

Did Thomas Edison invent tattoo gun?

Who Invented Tattoo MachineThe tattoo machine has a long and complicated past, dating back to the 1800s. It all began with Thomas Edison, an American inventor and his rotary type device. He invented it back in 1876 and its main purpose was to create stencils to be used on flyers. Tattooist Samuel O’Reilly modified Edison’s design over the course of fifteen years to create an electric tattoo machine which he patented in 1891.

What country introduced electric tattooing?

For additional history referencing or citing this article see : Ever-Evolving Tattoo Machines by Carmen Forquer Nyssen, published in the 2018 book TTT: Tattoo by Maxime Buschi & Nicholas Schonberger. Includes timeline and original, groundbreaking research on the first electrically tattooed attractions and electric tattoo machines. Bristol Tattoo Club : The Holy Grail of Electrical Tattooing: Edison-O’Reilly , 2018. Print. Image & article contribution. An Extremely Useful Invention: Edison’s Electric Pen & the Unraveling of Old & New Media by Peter Unwin Getting Inked Up? Thank Thomas Edison by Allison Marsh CNC Tattoo: A 360 Degree Computer Controlled Tattoo Machine by Brian Tracey Tattoo Taboo Tatuoinktikonesarjan Suunnittelu Ja Valmistaminen by Ossi Vihervirta Tatuagen Historia E Contemporaneidade by Rodrigo Muniz de Souza Lima Tattooed by O’Reilly: The First Electrically Tattooed Attractions by Carmen Nyssen Les tatouages : évolution des techniques, complications et prise en charge à l’officine Published on: Oct 5, 2015 @ 13:12.

What was the first tattoo tool?

Ancient Japanese Tattoo tools –

Source: Motor City Tattoo Museum The traditional art of Tebori, or tattooing by hand, is a technique practiced by the Japanese. A row of needles adhered to a wood or metal handle is the equipment used by a Tebori master to tattoo the skin. The constant motion of moving the hand holding the handle creates the tattoo design. Unlike modern electric tattoo machines, the Tebori master performs the tattoo in an ongoing rhythm, instead of performing a line and stopping. Source: Motor City Tattoo Museum

.

When was first tattoo invented?

Early and ethnographic tattoos – The earliest evidence of tattoo art comes in the form of clay figurines that had their faces painted or engraved to represent tattoo marks. The oldest figures of this kind have been recovered from tombs in Japan dating to 5000 BCE or older.

In terms of actual tattoos, the oldest known human to have tattoos preserved upon his mummified skin is a Bronze-Age man from around 3300 BCE. Found in a glacier of the Otztal Alps, near the border between Austria and Italy, ‘Otzi the Iceman’ had 57 tattoos.

Many were located on or near acupuncture points coinciding with the modern points that would be used to treat symptoms of diseases that he seems to have suffered from, including arthritis. Some scientists believe that these tattoos indicate an early type of acupuncture.

Although it is not known how Otzi’s tattoos were made,  they seem to be made of soot. Other early examples of tattoos can be traced back to the Middle Kingdom period of ancient Egypt. Several mummies exhibiting tattoos have been recovered that date to around that time (2160–1994 BCE).

In early Greek and Roman times (eighth to sixth century BCE) tattooing was associated with barbarians. The Greeks learned tattooing from the Persians, and used it to mark slaves and criminals so they could be identified if they tried to escape. The Romans in turn adopted this practice from the Greeks.

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Elaborately-tattooed mummies have been found in Pazyryk tombs (sixth to second century BCE). The Pazyryks were formidable Iron-Age horsemen and warriors who lived on the grass plains of Eastern Europe and Western Asia..

What is tattoo ink made of?

Professional inks may be made from iron oxides (rust), metal salts, or plastics. Homemade or traditional tattoo inks may be made from pen ink, soot, dirt, ash, blood, or other ingredients.

What was the first tattoo ever?

Fred Verhoeven You might not think the sullen, tattooed teenager skulking around your local record store has anything in common with Winston Churchill, but you would be wrong. Sir Winston, King George V, and the slaves of ancient Greece—to name a few—all have their place in the colorful history of skin decoration. For a practice so commonly associated with youth, tattooing is remarkably old, says professor Nina Jablonski, head of Penn State’s anthropology department and author of Skin: A Natural History.

“Tattoos have probably been important to people for over 10,000 years,” she notes. The oldest documented tattoos belong to Otzi the Iceman, whose preserved body was discovered in the Alps between Austria and Italy in 1991.

He died around 3300 B. , says Jablonski, but the practice of inserting pigment under the skin’s surface originated long before Otzi. In Japan, tattooing is thought to go back to the Paleolithic era, and tattooed Egyptian mummies—primarily female—have been uncovered dating to the age of the pyramids.

  1. In 1948, the excavation of Siberian tombs revealed bodies over 2,000 years old decorated with tattoos of animals and mythical beasts;
  2. Egypt’s international trade spread the practice of tattooing to Crete, Greece, and Arabia, and there is a history of tattooing in ancient China, as well as among Celtic and Northern European tribes, such as the Picts—literally “painted people”—and in Samoa and the Polynesian islands, where the word “tatou” originated;
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In fact, Jablonski explains, tattooing is as widespread as it is ancient, popping up on every inhabited continent. With the rise of Christianity, tattooing became increasingly associated with paganism and the criminal class, and was prohibited in Europe under the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine.

  1. In the late eighteenth century, the practice of tattooing became popular among British sailors around the time of Captain James Cook’s voyages to Tahiti, and for a time, tattoos were present in the western world mostly on the bodies of seamen returning from the South Pacific;

But the art form experienced a resurgence among the British gentry after King George V and later Edward VII were tattooed (with a dragon and a cross, respectively), and foreign courts followed the British Court’s lead, sparking a rash of tattooed royalty during the nineteenth century.

  • According to Jablonski, “Tattoos become more socially acceptable because they are visibly sported by people who are themselves socially accepted;
  • ” “People’s reasons for tattooing have varied from place to place,” she adds, “but their central purpose in all places and throughout time has been to convey a message of great significance through a visible symbol;

” In the Middle East, mourners rubbed the ash from funeral pyres into self-inflicted wounds, thereby carrying a piece of the departed with them forever. Tattoos have long been used as a means of identification: The Romans tattooed their criminals and slaves, a practice that was adopted by the Japanese in the early 17 th century, and the Nazis tattooed numbers on the arms of Jews during the Holocaust to dehumanize concentration camp inmates and identify their corpses.

Despite these grim uses, people today primarily use tattoos to tell their personal stories, as talismans, or to memorialize a loved one. “Their permanence is their allure,” Jablonski explains. Today, actor Brad Pitt has an image of Otzi the Iceman tattooed on his arm, and the adoption of the practice by movie stars and sports personalities has taken some of the taboo out of the tattoo.

Still, says Jablonski, tattooing retains its reputation as a subculture identifier, though young people are more likely to view tattoos as just another form of self-expression. Tattoos have never been as varied in content and design as they are now. Observes Jablonski, “Classic tattoos will always have a place, but people are increasingly using their bodies to create landscape/bodyscape effects.

  • ” Whatever the direction it takes, tattooing is here to stay;
  • “Tattoos are part of an ancient and universal tradition of human self-decoration and expression,” she concludes;
  • “They convey their messages without words and sometimes even long after death;

” Diamonds may be lost or stolen—it’s a tattoo that is forever. Nina Jablonski, Ph. , is professor and head of anthropology in the College of the Liberal Arts, [email protected] edu. Skin: A Natural History was published in October 2006 by University of California Press..

Why is it called a tattoo gun?

What Is a Tattoo Gun? – A tattoo gun is a handheld gun-shaped machine (hence the name) that drives tattoo ink into the skin. It allows the artist to make tiny hand movements and is gentle enough to use even on the face – such as when permanent make-up is applied.

Did any president have a tattoo?

Theodore Roosevelt, however, is the only American president ever documented to have had tattoos on his body, in real life, although from gunpowder.

What is the best tattoo machine in the world?

How was the first tattoo done?

Philippines [ edit ] – A 1908 photo of a Bontoc warrior bearing a head hunter’s chaklag tattoo Tattooing ( batok ) on both sexes was practiced by almost all ethnic groups of the Philippine Islands during the pre-colonial era, like in other Austronesian groups. [41] [42] [43] [44] Ancient clay human figurines found in archaeological sites in the Batanes Islands , around 2500 to 3000 years old, have simplified stamped-circle patterns which clearly represent tattoos. but may also indicate burns as this was also a common practice [45] Excavations at the Arku Cave burial site in Cagayan Province in northern Luzon have also yielded both chisel and serrated-type heads of possible hafted bone tattoo instruments alongside Austronesian material culture markers like adzes, spindle whorls, barkcloth beaters, and lingling-o jade ornaments. [46] [47] [48] [49] Illustration of Kankanaey tattoos covering the arms, chest, and face (c. 1887) Ancient tattoos can also be found among mummified remains of various Igorot peoples in cave and hanging coffin burials in northern Luzon, with the oldest surviving examples of which going back to the 13th century. The tattoos on the mummies are often highly individualized, covering the arms of female adults and the whole body of adult males.

These were dated to before 1500 BCE and are remarkably similar to the comb-type tattoo chisels found throughout Polynesia. A 700 to 900-year-old Kankanaey mummy in particular, nicknamed “Apo Anno”, had tattoos covering even the soles of the feet and the fingertips.

The tattoo patterns are often also carved on the coffins containing the mummies. [47] When Antonio Pigafetta of the Magellan expedition (c. 1521) first encountered the Visayans of the islands, he repeatedly described them as “painted all over. ” [50] The original Spanish name for the Visayans, ” Los Pintados ” (“The Painted Ones”) was a reference to their tattoos.

[41] [42] [51] “Besides the exterior clothing and dress, some of these nations wore another inside dress, which could not be removed after it was once put on. These are the tattoos of the body so greatly practiced among Visayans, whom we call Pintados for that reason.

For it was custom among them, and was a mark of nobility and bravery, to tattoo the whole body from top to toe when they were of an age and strength sufficient to endure the tortures of the tattooing which was done (after being carefully designed by the artists, and in accordance with the proportion of the parts of the body and the sex) with instruments like brushes or small twigs, with very fine points of bamboo.

  • ” “The body was pricked and marked with them until blood was drawn;
  • Upon that a black powder or soot made from pitch, which never faded, was put on;
  • The whole body was not tattooed at one time, but it was done gradually;

In olden times no tattooing was begun until some brave deed had been performed; and after that, for each one of the parts of the body which was tattooed some new deed had to be performed. The men tattooed even their chins and about the eyes so that they appeared to be masked.

Children were not tattooed, and the women only one hand and part of the other. The Ilocanos in this island of Manila also tattooed themselves but not to the same extent as the Visayans. ” —  Francisco Colins, Labor Evangelica (1663), [41] Tattoos were known as batuk (or batok ) or patik among the Visayan people ; batik , buri , or tatak (compare with Samoan tatau ) among the Tagalog people ; buri among the Pangasinan , Kapampangan , and Bicolano people ; batek , butak , or burik among the Ilocano people ; batek , batok , batak , fatek , whatok (also spelled fatok ), or buri among the various Igorot peoples ; [41] [42] [52] and pangotoeb (also spelled pa-ngo-túb , pengeteb , or pengetev ) among the various Manobo peoples.

[53] [54] These terms were also applied to identical designs used in woven textiles, pottery, and decorations for shields, tool and weapon handles, musical instruments, and others. [41] [42] [52] Most of the names are derived from Proto-Austronesian *beCik (“tattoo”) and *patik (“mottled pattern”). [55] [56] Whang-od , the last mambabatok of the Kalinga in the Philippines, performing a traditional batek tattoo with a mallet and hafted needles 1896 illustration of Ibaloi tattoo patterns which are records of war exploits and status Affixed forms of these words were used to describe tattooed people, often as a synonym for “renowned/skilled person”; like Tagalog batikan , Visayan binatakan , and Ilocano burikan. Men without tattoos were distinguished as puraw among Visayans, meaning “unmarked” or “plain” (compare with Samoan pulaʻu ). This was only socially acceptable for children and adolescents, as well as the asog (feminized men, usually shamans ); otherwise being a puraw adult usually identified someone as having very low status.

[41] [42] In contrast, tattoos in other ethnic groups (like the Manobo people ) were optional, and no words that distinguished tattooed and non-tattooed individuals exist in their languages. Though when tattoos are present, they are still have to follow various traditional rules when it comes to placement and design.

[53] Tattoos were symbols of tribal identity and kinship, as well as bravery, beauty, and social or wealth status. They were also believed to have magical or apotropaic abilities, and can also document personal or communal history. Their design and placement varied by ethnic group, affiliation, status, and gender.

  1. They ranged from almost completely covering the body, including tattoos on the face meant to evoke frightening masks among the elite warriors of the Visayans; to being restricted only to certain areas of the body like Manobo tattoos which were only done on the forearms, lower abdomen, back, breasts, and ankles;

[41] [42] [52] [53] They were commonly repeating geometric designs (lines, zigzags, repeating shapes); stylized representations of animals (like snakes, lizards, dogs, frogs, or giant centipedes ), plants (like grass, ferns, or flowers), or humans; or star-like and sun-like patterns.

Each motif had a name, and usually a story or significance behind it, though most of them have been lost to time. They were the same patterns and motifs used in other artforms and decorations of the particular ethnic groups they belong to.

Tattoos were, in fact, regarded as a type of clothing in itself, and men would commonly wear only loincloths ( bahag ) to show them off. [41] [42] [47] [52] [53] [57] “The principal clothing of the Cebuanos and all the Visayans is the tattooing of which we have already spoken, with which a naked man appears to be dressed in a kind of handsome armor engraved with very fine work, a dress so esteemed by them they take it for their proudest attire, covering their bodies neither more nor less than a Christ crucified , so that although for solemn occasions they have the marlotas (robes) we mentioned, their dress at home and in their barrio is their tattoos and a bahag , as they call that cloth they wrap around their waist, which is the sort the ancient actors and gladiators used in Rome for decency’s sake. ” Tattoos are acquired gradually over the years, and patterns can take months to complete and heal. The tattooing process were sacred events that involved rituals to ancestral spirits ( anito ) and the heeding of omens. For example, if the artist or the recipient sneezes before a tattooing, it was seen as a sign of disapproval by the spirits, and the session was called off or rescheduled.

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Artists were usually paid with livestock, heirloom beads, or precious metals. They were also housed and fed by the family of the recipient during the process. A celebration was usually held after a completed tattoo.

[42] [41] [47] Tattoos were made by skilled artists using the distinctively Austronesian hafted tattooing technique. This involves using a small hammer to tap the tattooing needle (either a single needle or a brush-like bundle of needles) set perpendicular to a wooden handle in an L-shape (hence “hafted”).

This handle makes the needle more stable and easier to position. The tapping moves the needle in and out of the skin rapidly (around 90 to 120 taps a minute). The needles were usually made from wood, horn, bone, ivory, metal, bamboo, or citrus thorns.

The needles created wounds on the skin that were then rubbed with the ink made from soot or ashes mixed with water, oil, plant extracts (like sugarcane juice ), or even pig bile. The artists also commonly traced an outline of the designs on the skin with the ink, using pieces of string or blades of grass, prior to tattooing.

In some cases, the ink was applied before the tattoo points are driven into the skin. Most tattoo practitioners were men, though female practitioners also existed. They were either residents to a single village or traveling artists who visited different villages.

[41] [42] [47] [52] Another tattooing technique predominantly practiced by the Lumad and Negrito peoples uses a small knife or a hafted tattooing chisel to quickly incise the skin in small dashes. The wounds are then rubbed with pigment. They differ from the techniques which use points in that the process also produces scarification.

  1. Regardless, the motifs and placements are very similar to the tattoos made with hafted needles;
  2. [53] Tattooing traditions were lost as Filipinos were converted to Christianity during the Spanish colonial era;

Tattooing were also lost in some groups (like the Tagalog and the Moro people ) shortly before the colonial period due to their (then recent) conversion to Islam. It survived until around the 19th to the mid-20th centuries in more remote areas of the Philippines, but also fell out of practice due to modernization and western influence.

Today, it is a highly endangered tradition and only survives among some members of the Igorot people of the Luzon highlands, [41] some Lumad people of the Mindanao highlands, [53] and the Sulodnon people of the Panay highlands.

[43] [58].

When was the first tattoo machine patented?

In 1891, inventor Samuel O’Reilly received a patent for a tattooing machine that was based on the electric pen. Previously, tattoo artists had been able to perforate the skin about two or three times per second.

How long do tattoo machines last?

Think Long Term – When you first buy a tattoo machine, you may think you don’t have to put more money into it. Though, if you get a low-quality machine, it won’t last very long. Perhaps you buy a machine for $100, but it only lasts for a year. Compare that to a $500 machine that lasts for almost 10 years.

How many types of tattoo machines are there?

Types of tattoo machines – Before we dig in, it’s important to note that these aren’t the only types of tattoo machines. There are always new designs and models coming out that serve more specific functions. There are also other methods of tattooing that don’t involve machinery.

Rotary and coil tattoo machines are the most popular and widely used. It’s important to note that these machines don’t live in isolation. You’ll find that tattoo artists are constant innovators, and so there are always pieces being taken from one kind of machine and used on another as tattoo artists look to constantly make their machines better.

The basics are still the basics though, so even as there are tattoo artists who mix and match things up in terms of machines, the basic function of the tattoo machine remain the same.

  • Rotary tattoo machines

Invented in 1978 by German Manfred Kohrs , rotary tattoo machines are the original tattoo machine technology. Using an electric motor to drive the needles, this technology changed the way that tattooing was done, ushering in a new age of detail and control.

  • Lightweight
  • Easy handling
  • Less hand and finger cramping
  • Low noise output
  • Single machine can be used for lining and shading
  • Minimal adjustments needed
  • Very popular among artists

Rotary machines move needles up and down using a small DC motor that’s encased in a hard outer layer. These machines are of course incredibly simple, and they’re still widely used throughout the tattoo industry. Look for lots of innovations and add-ons to rotary machines that make them more efficient and even better than ever, as tattoo artists in the trenches constantly improving and adding their own spin to these stalwart machines.

  • Coil tattoo machines

What’s that buzzing noise? It’s a coil tattoo machine! The most common type of tattoo machine is the coil tattoo machine. The buzzing noise that’s so readily associated with tattoo shops is the sound of the coil tattoo machine. It can be loud! That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it does allow the tattoo artists to focus just on what they’re doing while drowning out all of the ambient noise.

Of course the coil tattoo machine isn’t popular because of its decibel level, it’s popular because it works so well and is so versatile. There are three common types of coil machines; liners, shaders, and color packers.

The name of these three types of coil tattoo machines pretty much sums up their intended use. The liner runs a lot faster and not as deep as a shader or a color packer. The primary purpose of this type of machine is to create fine and precise line work, including the general outline of the tattoo.

Shaders are used to fill in color and primarily for shading in different gradients. These machines are set up to have a longer armature bar that hits significantly harder and deeper than liner machines. Shaders have a longer throw, allowing the shades to pack a little deeper into the skin.

Finally, the color packer tattoo machine is set up very similar to a shader because it is used to fill in color and blacks. This machine hits even harder and deeper than a shader, and does not work well for grey scale and shading gradients. It’s best used to pack in colors solidly and more deeply than other machines. Benefits of coil tattoo machines:

  • Easy to regulate speed and power
  • Easy to customize and interchange parts.
  • Faster completion time
  • Heavier weight allows a little more control
  • Most popular type of tattoo machine

Coil machines generally come in dual coiled form , ranging from eight to ten wraps. The coils create the resistance that allows for that regulation we like with these machines, while an armature bar is pulled up and down quickly to inject ink into the skin. Many tattoo artists swear by their rotary machines, believing them to be by far superior to anything else available.

The purpose here is to “pack” in color and pigments with a single pass, rather than having to go over your work again. Coil machines offer immediate feedback to the artist when pressure is too much or too little.

They tend to be used by newer tattoo artists who are wanting to have that more tactile and organic connection with the skin.

When was the first electric tattoo machine invented?

Do you have any tattoos? If so, you can probably thank Thomas Edison. In 1875, Edison and his team invented a device that was the first practical application of the electric motor. His portable copy machine never was a huge success, but it did have long-lasting implications.

How did it work? What was its history? And what does any of that have to do with tattoos? Well, sit back and read. It’s a fascinating tale. A brief history of copying The movable-type printing press, as you might be aware, was invented in the 15th century by Johannes Gutenberg, who built on the successes of inventors from Asia centuries before.

The printing press was revolutionary. For the first time in history, it made printed works available to the general public. The process could be used to mass produce books or newspapers much more quickly than ever before, and it led to the spreading of knowledge throughout the world.

  1. However, using a printing press was cumbersome and labor intensive — and it required the possession of a printing press;
  2. What if the average person wanted to make copies of important documents? In the 1870s, an Italian named Eugenio de Zuccato received a patent for a process that used corrosive ink to create a stencil that could then be used to reproduce handwriting;

The papyrograph process was rather involved , using lacquer-coated paper and a modified letter press, but the idea was key. If there were an easier way to create and use stencils, perhaps they were the key to home copying. Bringing the stencil process mainstream Enter Thomas Edison and his assistant, Charles Batchelor.

  • Their goal was to use their vast knowledge of electricity to create a device that could use stencils to simply and easily produce copies of handwriting;
  • Batchelor’s Technical Notes and Drawings contains a drawing dated July 18, 1875, of a “pen for autographic press” that looks somewhat like a standard writing pen with a battery-powered motor attached to the top;

The electric pen was born. Here’s how the pen worked: The electric motor at the top of the pen turned a cam, which when turning caused a needle to extend through the end of the pin and prick a hole in the paper. The pen’s cam worked like a cam in an internal combustion engine, turning radial motion into linear as the needle extended and withdrew rapidly to make patterns of perforations in the paper, wherever the user’s hand was writing.

Once the paper was perforated as desired, the user would then take an inking roller to pass ink through the perforations to a piece of paper (or other material) beneath. Copy complete! Edison and his team sold the pens in 1875 and 1876, at which point they turned the process over to Western Electric Manufacturing Company, who was to manufacture and sell the pens and pay royalties to Edison.

Their goal in 1877 was to produce at least 200 pens per month. By 1880, a number of competitors were in the market, and the Edison electric pen was in decline, according to research from Bill Burns. (By the way, if you want to see an electric pen in person, stop by the SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention in downtown Bellingham — once we’ve reopened, anyway — and check it out.

  • ) A new industry is born Edison’s electric pen, despite being the first practical use of the electric motor, wasn’t a huge success;
  • However, as is the case throughout the history of electrical invention, the technology lived on;
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In 1891, inventor Samuel O’Reilly received a patent for a tattooing machine that was based on the electric pen. Previously, tattoo artists had been able to perforate the skin about two or three t.

How was the first tattoo done?

Philippines [ edit ] – A 1908 photo of a Bontoc warrior bearing a head hunter’s chaklag tattoo Tattooing ( batok ) on both sexes was practiced by almost all ethnic groups of the Philippine Islands during the pre-colonial era, like in other Austronesian groups. [41] [42] [43] [44] Ancient clay human figurines found in archaeological sites in the Batanes Islands , around 2500 to 3000 years old, have simplified stamped-circle patterns which clearly represent tattoos. but may also indicate burns as this was also a common practice [45] Excavations at the Arku Cave burial site in Cagayan Province in northern Luzon have also yielded both chisel and serrated-type heads of possible hafted bone tattoo instruments alongside Austronesian material culture markers like adzes, spindle whorls, barkcloth beaters, and lingling-o jade ornaments. [46] [47] [48] [49] Illustration of Kankanaey tattoos covering the arms, chest, and face (c. 1887) Ancient tattoos can also be found among mummified remains of various Igorot peoples in cave and hanging coffin burials in northern Luzon, with the oldest surviving examples of which going back to the 13th century. The tattoos on the mummies are often highly individualized, covering the arms of female adults and the whole body of adult males.

These were dated to before 1500 BCE and are remarkably similar to the comb-type tattoo chisels found throughout Polynesia. A 700 to 900-year-old Kankanaey mummy in particular, nicknamed “Apo Anno”, had tattoos covering even the soles of the feet and the fingertips.

The tattoo patterns are often also carved on the coffins containing the mummies. [47] When Antonio Pigafetta of the Magellan expedition (c. 1521) first encountered the Visayans of the islands, he repeatedly described them as “painted all over. ” [50] The original Spanish name for the Visayans, ” Los Pintados ” (“The Painted Ones”) was a reference to their tattoos.

[41] [42] [51] “Besides the exterior clothing and dress, some of these nations wore another inside dress, which could not be removed after it was once put on. These are the tattoos of the body so greatly practiced among Visayans, whom we call Pintados for that reason.

For it was custom among them, and was a mark of nobility and bravery, to tattoo the whole body from top to toe when they were of an age and strength sufficient to endure the tortures of the tattooing which was done (after being carefully designed by the artists, and in accordance with the proportion of the parts of the body and the sex) with instruments like brushes or small twigs, with very fine points of bamboo.

” “The body was pricked and marked with them until blood was drawn. Upon that a black powder or soot made from pitch, which never faded, was put on. The whole body was not tattooed at one time, but it was done gradually.

In olden times no tattooing was begun until some brave deed had been performed; and after that, for each one of the parts of the body which was tattooed some new deed had to be performed. The men tattooed even their chins and about the eyes so that they appeared to be masked.

  1. Children were not tattooed, and the women only one hand and part of the other;
  2. The Ilocanos in this island of Manila also tattooed themselves but not to the same extent as the Visayans;
  3. ” —  Francisco Colins, Labor Evangelica (1663), [41] Tattoos were known as batuk (or batok ) or patik among the Visayan people ; batik , buri , or tatak (compare with Samoan tatau ) among the Tagalog people ; buri among the Pangasinan , Kapampangan , and Bicolano people ; batek , butak , or burik among the Ilocano people ; batek , batok , batak , fatek , whatok (also spelled fatok ), or buri among the various Igorot peoples ; [41] [42] [52] and pangotoeb (also spelled pa-ngo-túb , pengeteb , or pengetev ) among the various Manobo peoples;

[53] [54] These terms were also applied to identical designs used in woven textiles, pottery, and decorations for shields, tool and weapon handles, musical instruments, and others. [41] [42] [52] Most of the names are derived from Proto-Austronesian *beCik (“tattoo”) and *patik (“mottled pattern”). [55] [56] Whang-od , the last mambabatok of the Kalinga in the Philippines, performing a traditional batek tattoo with a mallet and hafted needles 1896 illustration of Ibaloi tattoo patterns which are records of war exploits and status Affixed forms of these words were used to describe tattooed people, often as a synonym for “renowned/skilled person”; like Tagalog batikan , Visayan binatakan , and Ilocano burikan. Men without tattoos were distinguished as puraw among Visayans, meaning “unmarked” or “plain” (compare with Samoan pulaʻu ). This was only socially acceptable for children and adolescents, as well as the asog (feminized men, usually shamans ); otherwise being a puraw adult usually identified someone as having very low status.

[41] [42] In contrast, tattoos in other ethnic groups (like the Manobo people ) were optional, and no words that distinguished tattooed and non-tattooed individuals exist in their languages. Though when tattoos are present, they are still have to follow various traditional rules when it comes to placement and design.

[53] Tattoos were symbols of tribal identity and kinship, as well as bravery, beauty, and social or wealth status. They were also believed to have magical or apotropaic abilities, and can also document personal or communal history. Their design and placement varied by ethnic group, affiliation, status, and gender.

They ranged from almost completely covering the body, including tattoos on the face meant to evoke frightening masks among the elite warriors of the Visayans; to being restricted only to certain areas of the body like Manobo tattoos which were only done on the forearms, lower abdomen, back, breasts, and ankles.

[41] [42] [52] [53] They were commonly repeating geometric designs (lines, zigzags, repeating shapes); stylized representations of animals (like snakes, lizards, dogs, frogs, or giant centipedes ), plants (like grass, ferns, or flowers), or humans; or star-like and sun-like patterns.

Each motif had a name, and usually a story or significance behind it, though most of them have been lost to time. They were the same patterns and motifs used in other artforms and decorations of the particular ethnic groups they belong to.

Tattoos were, in fact, regarded as a type of clothing in itself, and men would commonly wear only loincloths ( bahag ) to show them off. [41] [42] [47] [52] [53] [57] “The principal clothing of the Cebuanos and all the Visayans is the tattooing of which we have already spoken, with which a naked man appears to be dressed in a kind of handsome armor engraved with very fine work, a dress so esteemed by them they take it for their proudest attire, covering their bodies neither more nor less than a Christ crucified , so that although for solemn occasions they have the marlotas (robes) we mentioned, their dress at home and in their barrio is their tattoos and a bahag , as they call that cloth they wrap around their waist, which is the sort the ancient actors and gladiators used in Rome for decency’s sake. ” Tattoos are acquired gradually over the years, and patterns can take months to complete and heal. The tattooing process were sacred events that involved rituals to ancestral spirits ( anito ) and the heeding of omens. For example, if the artist or the recipient sneezes before a tattooing, it was seen as a sign of disapproval by the spirits, and the session was called off or rescheduled.

  • Artists were usually paid with livestock, heirloom beads, or precious metals;
  • They were also housed and fed by the family of the recipient during the process;
  • A celebration was usually held after a completed tattoo;

[42] [41] [47] Tattoos were made by skilled artists using the distinctively Austronesian hafted tattooing technique. This involves using a small hammer to tap the tattooing needle (either a single needle or a brush-like bundle of needles) set perpendicular to a wooden handle in an L-shape (hence “hafted”).

This handle makes the needle more stable and easier to position. The tapping moves the needle in and out of the skin rapidly (around 90 to 120 taps a minute). The needles were usually made from wood, horn, bone, ivory, metal, bamboo, or citrus thorns.

History of the Tattoo Machine

The needles created wounds on the skin that were then rubbed with the ink made from soot or ashes mixed with water, oil, plant extracts (like sugarcane juice ), or even pig bile. The artists also commonly traced an outline of the designs on the skin with the ink, using pieces of string or blades of grass, prior to tattooing.

In some cases, the ink was applied before the tattoo points are driven into the skin. Most tattoo practitioners were men, though female practitioners also existed. They were either residents to a single village or traveling artists who visited different villages.

[41] [42] [47] [52] Another tattooing technique predominantly practiced by the Lumad and Negrito peoples uses a small knife or a hafted tattooing chisel to quickly incise the skin in small dashes. The wounds are then rubbed with pigment. They differ from the techniques which use points in that the process also produces scarification.

Regardless, the motifs and placements are very similar to the tattoos made with hafted needles. [53] Tattooing traditions were lost as Filipinos were converted to Christianity during the Spanish colonial era.

Tattooing were also lost in some groups (like the Tagalog and the Moro people ) shortly before the colonial period due to their (then recent) conversion to Islam. It survived until around the 19th to the mid-20th centuries in more remote areas of the Philippines, but also fell out of practice due to modernization and western influence.

  1. Today, it is a highly endangered tradition and only survives among some members of the Igorot people of the Luzon highlands, [41] some Lumad people of the Mindanao highlands, [53] and the Sulodnon people of the Panay highlands;

[43] [58].

When was the first tattoo shop opened in New York City?

1870 Martin Hildebrandt, the City’s first-known tattoo artist, opened what’s believed to be the first tattooing business in the United States at 77 James St. in Manhattan, located in today’s Chinatown.

In what year was the tattoo machine painted?

Who Invented the First Tattoo Machine? : – Now that we have some background knowledge laid out. Where did the first tattoo machines come from? The answer may surprise you. Thomas Edison is famous for a lot of his inventions. He’s also credited with inspiring Samuel F.