A Short Glance of the History of Tattoo Guns

30/05/2011 11:01

  You may find it easy to assemble homemade tattoo guns, but the first version of tattoo gun came out in 1800s and those guns become one of the essential equipment for tattooing with nearly 200 years’ developing. Now, let’s take a short glance of the history of tattoo guns together.

  Samuel O’Reilly, who is said to be the undisputed owner and pioneer for the first tattoo guns, got his patent by making a little change to the stencil pen invented in 1876 by Thomas Alva Edison, who got the basic idea of penetrating the colorful powder into the cloth or paper with sharp pinheads. That’s why most modern tattoo guns work in a similar way with stencil pens. From then, the prototypes came into being.

Then a Danish named Oersted discovered the basic electrical principle of electromagnetism enabling tattoo guns work freely and Thomas Riley from London made some developments to that and made out one gun with a single coil working by electromagnets. In 1899, Alfred Charles Smith from London doubled the coils, but they’re not convenient in use as they were too heavy to handle.

   Tattoo guns generally maintain the original designs in the following 200 years until Percy Waters, an American lived in Detroit, who promoted the guns and set them in the tune of the modern way. He made the two coils in line with the frame, and gave various modifications to the switch and spark shield. Till then, tattoo guns became really popular in the market.

  Then five years later, Carol Nightingale from Washington D.C. got his tattoo gun patented in 1979. Full adjustments had been made to the coils, back springs mount, contact screw, angled armature bar etc.

   The technique is always developing, and precision and control of the speed and needles have been added. In 2000, revolutionary pneumatic tattoo guns were invented by Carson Hill, inserting needles with air instead of electromagnets, more smoothly.

  It’s really a long way of developing since invented. And tattoo artists in America and Europe are still working on new inventions, making the guns both cheap and practical in use. Handmade tattoo guns with specific demands in tattoo practice are now pretty popular. Surely more tattoo guns cheap with exquisite appearance and awesome functions will be invented in the future as improvement has been made little by little and the search is still going on.