Alex Gordon

Gordon was an American-born tattooer who, apparently, got his introduction on the Bowery (this is according to a newspaper interview) and then moved to England and tattooed in London. He…

Anonymous

This is an antique pencil drawing on very old paper- probably late 1800’s to 1910 from an unknown hand. It’s a page from an itinerant sketchbook, likely English. Often times these…

Ashton Taylor

Ashton Taylor (?-?) – We have been told this drawing is by Ashton Taylor. “Okay,” we said. It’s a great dragon and has all the hallmarks of tattoo flash. And…

August ‘Cap’ Coleman

August ‘Cap’ Coleman (1884-1973) was born in 1884 near Cincinnati, Ohio. After being tattooed by J. F. Barber, Coleman enlisted with Sheeshley Shows as their tattooed attraction and tattoo artist….

Bert Grimm

Bert Grimm (1900-1985) started hanging around tattoo shops in Portland Oregon when he was about 12 years old and before long he started tattooing. Grimm was a fixture in the…

Bob Shaw

Bob Shaw (1926-1993) worked on the famous 22 Chestnut Street location in Long Beach . He was a solid member of the Nu-Pike gang of famous tattooers. Bob was covered…

Captain Jack Howard

Capt. Jack Howard (1870-1921) settled on Barbary Coast in San Francisco after traveling with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Note drawings of Buffalo Bill Cody on the top of this…

Charles ‘Red’ Gibbons

“Bertie” Charles “Red” Gibbons (1879-1964) Little is known about Red Gibbons’ early life, other than he had worked as a tattoo artist in an arcade in Spokane, Washington. He gained…

Chris Nelson

Not much was known about him, but he worked on The Pike in Long Beach, CA along with Bert Grim. According to Jim LePorte, Chris Nelson and Ed Hardy were…

Dainty Dotty

Dainty Dotty (1909-1952) was the Fat Lady in the Ringling Bros circus in the 1930s and 40s. She married tattoo artist, Owen Jensen, who taught her the art of tattooing. They…

Dan Danzl

Danny Danzl (1911-??), a Minnesota native who arrived in the Northwest around 1940. He was gardener in Portland, OR where he started tattooing. By 1942, he’d moved to Seattle. He…

Duke Kaufman

Ralph “Duke” Kaufman (1924-1964) spent many years away for a bank robbery conviction.  His pieces are notable for the classic shading employing a core and cast shadow style.  Like the…

Dusty Rhodes

Manley “Dusty Rhodes” (1860-1962) was listed as a tattooist in Chatham, England 1911 although he spent most of his career in Grimsby. The designs above found in Dusty’s shop, are…

Earl Brown

Earl Brown (?-?) tattooed in many locations during his career. At his Kentucky tattoo shop, Brown called himself a master tattooist with 35 years’ experience. His card stated, “I originate…

Ed Smith

America’s Tattoo Master, Mr. Samuel F. O’Reilly, trained Ed Smith along with Charles Wagner in the 20’s and 30’s on the Bowery in New York City. Bums, empty bottles, and…

Ernie Carafa

Ernie Carafa (1946-2018) started tattooing at age 16 by trading fireworks for tattoo equipment. After almost 50 years of working as a tattoo artist, Carafa, originally from Brooklyn and now…

George Burchett

George “Professor” Burchett (1872–1953) was probably the most famous tattooist of his era, which spanned from 1890 through 1953. Burchett tattooed in London through two World Wars and Burchett catered…

Gus Wagner

Augustus “Gus” Wagner (1872-1941) “World’s Champion Hand Tattoo Artist and Tattooed Man,” was one of the most exuberant figures in the history of American popular culture. As tattooist and showman,…

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