Historical Time Line of Tattoos and Introduction to America

Tattoos have been around since the ice ages and have grown more popular and accepting every generation since. Since the first Tattoo Parlor opened in New York in the 1850’s the number of people getting tattoos has continually increased. Martin Hildebrant, a German immigrant, opened the 1st Tattoo shop and began tattooing soldiers during the Civil War. The majority of these tattoos represented some form of patriotism, show of love, or memory of a lost one to the war. Martin’s daughter Nora was one of the first American women to be covered in tattoos. Nora toured with the Barnum and Bailey Circus and became know as the first tattooed lady of America. Nora told a story that she received a lot of her tattoos from her father while being held captive by the legendary Sitting Bull.Over the next century tattoos in general were not accepted by main stream America. Most of those sporting tattoos were military personnel, criminals, and the rebellious. Women were very rarely seen covered in tattoos. Fast forward to today, you will actually find that in America there are more women getting tattoos than men. Tattoos have become so socially acceptable that the Mattel toy company introduced the tattooed Barbie doll in 2011, which was widely accepted. Today there are over 45 million Americans that have at least one tattoo, that’s approximately one out of five people. In the 1850’s Americans spent a few thousand dollars a year on tattoos, today over $1.5 Billion dollars a year is spent. According to the Harris Poll conducted in 2012, tattoos made a person feel sexier and stronger the most. 49% surveyed said the choice of Tattoo artist and Tattoo shop were the biggest factors when deciding on a tattoo. 43% said the personal meaning behind the tattoo was the biggest factor for getting a tattoo. Today you can find High Ranking Politicians, Judges, Lawyers, Doctors, Nurses, and Teachers showing of their tattoos. America has come a long way since that 1st Tattoo Shop opened in New York City. Here is a time Line on the History of Tattoos.3300 B.C. — Frozen Fritz the Iceman dies in the Alps near the of border between Austria and Italy. His frozen, preserved corpse is found in 1991; it bears the oldest examples of tattooing yet to be found. Experts say they are not sure if these tattoos are ornamental or evidence of some type of acupuncture, but either way, Frozen Fritz makes his mark on tattooing history.2000 B.C. — Noble Egyptian women and priestesses are tattooed with a series of dots over the stomach, upper legs and chest areas. Scientists hypothesize that these tattoos are a form of protection during maternity, since the stomach markings would expand to cover their belly as it grew.A.D. 316 — Roman Emperor Constantine prohibit the practice of facial tattooing. His reasoning being that man has been created in the image of God, and so to mar the face is to dishonor the divine.720 — Body art goes out of fashion in Japan when authorities of the government begin using tattoos as a punishment for criminals. This lasts until the 17th century, when tattooing is replaced by other forms to punish those who break the law. ornamental tattoos quickly become fashionable once again.922 — While visiting what is now Russia, Arab ambassador Ahmad Ibn Fadlan discovers a group of heavily tattooed merchants from northern parts of Europe. Ibn Fadlan describes the tattoos as dark green lines and images, that extend from the feet to the neck of each man.1769 — After an exploration of Tahiti and New Zealand, British pioneer Capt. James Cook brings back stories of the natives’ extensive body art. He also popularize’s the verbiage we still use today: The Polynesian word “tatau” (meaning to strike) becomes popular in America as “tattoo.”1846 — Martin Hildebrandt introduces the first U.S. tattoo parlor in New York City, tattooing customers that includes military members from both the Union Army & Confederate Army of the Civil War. His daughter, Nora, becomes famous during the 1890’s when she travels with the Barnum and Bailey Circus featured as the “Tattooed Lady”.1891 — Samuel O’Reilly introduces the electric tattoo gun, which is inspired by Thomas Edison’s design of the autographic printing pen. Modern tattoo guns are still in most part based on O’Reilly’s design.1961 — The City of New York prohibits tattooing, fearing a possible hepatitis B outbreak. The City Council lifts the ban 36 years later in 1997. Three months after, the 1st annual New York Tattoo Convention is featured in the city.2006 — Scientists at Harvard invent an erasable tattoo ink. Though it won’t wash off in the shower, tub, or swimming pool the ink’s structure makes it easier for lasers to extract the ink in tattoos. Erasable tattoo ink becomes popular with those who stencil their sweetheart’s name, as the image is less regrettable after a breakup.2012 — Today there are over a dozen different reality shows being aired on television. There are over 20,000 Tattoo shops in America currently, with an average of 1 new shop opening everyday.

Basic Tattoo Designs

Tribal Tattoos -Tribal Tattooing originated thousands of years ago, and it is still being used by various cultures throughout the world. Tribal tattoos originated in areas such as Hawaii and Samoa. Their characteristics include heavy black lines and shading of geometric designs. The great thing about tribal tattoos is the variety of creativity that a tattoo artist can use. In fact, any basic design can easily be given a tribal touch by a skilled tattoo artist by working freehand alone. With the flexibility of this design, anyone can easily come up with a unique tribal tattoo design.Celtic Tattoos – Celtic designs are an incredibly popular choice today for those looking to get tattooed. A general rule of thumb is: the shape of the design often determines the “meaning” of a knotwork design. Circles represent unity or eternity, spirals reincarnation or cycles of life and rebirth, triangles and trefoils the threefold dominion of earth, sea, and sky. Squares or four-fold shapes are shield knots, symbols of protection from spirits or evil influences. Interlaced animals and men usually represent relationships, or emphasize the interdependence of mankind and nature. There are actually very few records of the Celts themselves, and most symbols are interpreted by archaeologists and other scholars who have studied the symbols in context. Some ancient Celtic symbols have changed in meaning over time, having been influenced by the introduction of the Church and the influence of other cultures. Be sure to seek advice from the tattoo artist when deciding on which design would best suit your personality.Cross Tattoos -Cross designs are one of the oldest types of designs, and are still an incredibly popular choice for those who are looking to get tattooed. There are 4 basic cross designs that are very popular:* Celtic Cross
* Iron Cross
* Gothic Cross
* Christian CrossThere are some people that just love a well done cross tattoo just for the sake of how beautiful it is. If it is done well, and the ridges and curves are very smooth and detailed, it will have an amazing result. It can almost have a three dimensional effect when you look at it from the sides.Butterfly Tattoos – Butterfly tattoos are still an incredibly popular choice for those looking to get tattooed. They can be done in many ways. They can be done in a big way, with bold colors and details, or they can be done with a more subtle approach. They can be done to match the actual realistic look of a butterfly, or you can be very creative with your rendition. You can also combine them with other designs and themes. Before you have a huge butterfly tattooed on your body, please consider the following. The basic symbolism of the butterfly involves grace, beauty, spirituality, transition, so be sure to have your tattoo made delicately and carefully.Dragon Tattoos – Dragon tattoos are one of the most sought after tattoo designs today! In Japan, dragons are an important part of the Japanese mythology. In Japan, they are water gods; therefore, that is why they are generally portrayed with clouds. Japanese dragon tattoos symbolize power, protection of home and family and longevity. In China, the dragon has a stronger, more masculine depiction of the Dragon. There, they represent strength, intelligence, luck, health, and harmony. They commonly protect life, fortune, and fertility. They generally have a snake-like appearance, and scales all over their body. They are also said to possess supernatural powers. The Tribal variation of the Dragon tattoo is also impressive. They are dragons that are designed with the strengths of the Tribal Tattoo style, such as the bold, black colors. The meaning of the Tribal Tattoo will depend more on how you decide to combine it with Tribal styles.Angel Tattoos – Angel tattoos are another type of tattoo with multiple types and meanings. Generally, when women get an angel tattoo, this symbolizes calmness and serenity. When men get them, it usually symbolizes more of a connection to their spirituality and inner self. Some angel designs are designed to make the wearer safe and protected. Of course, there are some darker designs that can also represent a person’s darker side. There are Cherub designs, which symbolize hope and optimism, relating to love. Generally speaking, the symbol of an angel represents a representative from God, and the spiritual and emotional support he gives us.Arm Tattoos – Arm tattoos are also very common, and can be done in many ways. This is probably the most common place on the body to tattoo. They are common in both Eastern and Western cultures. This spot on the body is very visible, so you want to ensure that you get a design that is important to you. There are just so many choices in this area, upper arm tattoo, forearm tattoo, shoulder tattoo, sleeve tattoos, wrist tattoos, the list can go on and on. Full sleeve tattoos are probably the boldest choice. Tattoo sleeves seem to be preferred by men although many women also seem to be getting them. It should be noted that full sleeve tattoos take a very long time to complete and usually require more than one session. Now that being said, it also takes great deal of commitment and money to create quality sleeve tattoos.Skull Tattoos – Skull tats have been a huge choice for many decades, and are still extremely popular. From fun and jovial, to scary and creepy, this tattoo can be expressed in hundreds or ways. The symbol of the skull is known all over the world as a sign of death. People generally assume that the Skull Tat is a representation of death or other negative images. It also symbolizes power, strength, and the ability to overcome a difficult time in life, and the ability to avoid death. Historically, the skull has also been seen as a triumph over an enemy. You can see many different styles of skulls based on the creative imagination of the person creating them. They can be seen in many places, video games, comic strips, books, and of course tattoos. Be sure to seek advice from the tattoo artist when deciding on which design would best suit your personality.