Definition Essay

Topics: Tattoo, Tattooing, Permanent makeup Pages: 4 (1016 words) Published: April 7, 2015
Kyle Owens
Eng102
Buz Ecker
1/27/15
Tattooing in America
Everyone hates getting shots, but some people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to get thousands of shots a minute, from sometimes several needles at once. The crazy thing is, these shots leave a permanent mark in your skin. It may sound crazy, but this is the general process behind a tattoo. Tattooing has existed all around the world for thousands of years, even being mentioned in The Bible. It gained popularity in America in the middle 1800’s, but in the last 10-20 years has really crossed over in the mainstream culture and gained a lot of attention in the media. There are many things that go into tattoos and tattooing, I will be focusing on; the history of tattooing in America, the tattooing process, and reasons people decide to get tattooed.

The first tattoo shop in The United State opened in New York in 1846, it was opened by Martin Hildebrant. At this time, tattoo artists still used the conventional method of tattooing: A hand held needle dipped in ink, repetitively poked into the skin. This all changed in 1891 when Samuel O’Reilly invented the electric tattoo machine. “The introduction of electric machinery made tattooing cheaper, faster, and less painful.” (Perzanowski 520) The electronic tattoo machine gave way to a very specific style of tattoo which later becomes known as “American Traditional.” American traditional tattoos are known for “strong black line . . . heavy black shading; and a dab of color from a limited palette emphasizing red, blue, and green” (Perzanowski 520) With the electric tattoo machine adding to the speed, and the use of flash images (pre-drawn images that could be tattooed very quickly) the tattoo artists could do several tattoos every day. Tattoos became very popular with members of the military. On their leave time they would line up in the tattoo shops getting several tattoos from the flash sheets. Starting in the 1960s a tattoo “renaissance” was headed by...
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