History of Tattooing

The art of Tattoo has been around for thousands of years. The styles and reasons for tattoo have varied from individual to individual as they have from society to society. Some tattoos were prepared for simple ornamentation, others done for religious beliefs and others still for reasons known better to their wearers. Tattooing has existed in one form or another across the earth since time immemorial and the popularity of tattoo art is most likely continue for centuries.

Though the fundamental concept of tattoo has been constant throughout the history, the styles and reasons for tattoo have evolved along with man's own development. An interesting example of this has been found at the back of a man on the slopes of the Alps. He was buried their 5 thousands years ago. The significance to these tattooed, if there was any other then to decorate the body is unknown. Some people think that tattooing was done for medicinal purposes. The pigments used in tattooing may have been a certain type of berry known to have some curative and healing effects for different ailments.

The history of tattoos can be traced back to both primitive and historic culture as far back as before the birth of Christ. For these cultures, tattoos signified importance or power and were generally reserved for religious figures in their community. Even the early Christians used tattoos as symbols of acknowledgment until 787 AD when the church edict forbade them. The word tattoo comes from the sound the tattooing instrument makes on the skin of those being tattooed and derives from the Polynesian word 'ta' which means to strike something.

Modern Tattooing evolved from the early days of Chatham square in New York City. It was Charlie Wagner who opened a supply business with Lew Alberts and began early tattoo flash art. Tattoos became a popular cosmetic surgery at this time, adding blush, colored lips and eyeliner. The tattooing culture hit an all time low in 1961 when an outbreak of hepatitis sent the industry into a downward spiral. The media began reporting stories of hepatitis and other diseases, based on most tattoo shops having the equipment to sterilize their tools, but very few shops using them. Today tattoos are as popular and safe as they ever have been. There are new tattoo shops opening regularly to meet the growing demand.