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.