Social Media Share Tools
- Unidentified (American)
- Luce Center Label
- A New York tattoo artist, Samuel Reilly, invented the electric tattoo machine in 1891. He adapted Thomas Edison's design for an electric pen, in which a reciprocating motor powered a needle, to create a tattoo machine that was faster and less painful than previous hand methods. The machine needed to be portable because early American tattoo artists traveled constantly along the eastern seaboard, selling their craft to sailors at the different ports. Needles of various sizes, a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a small bottle of tattoo ink appear inside this box.
- Credit Line
- Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson
- ca. 1920s-1930s
- Object number
- Restrictions & Rights
- Folk Art
- painted wood with iron and brass trim and electrical fittings, tattooing needles and ink, paper card, labels, metal box, and glass bottles
- overall: 22 x 17 x 7 in. (55.9 x 43.2 x 17.7 cm) box: 20 7/8 x 14 3/8 x 7 in. (52.9 x 36.4 x 17.7 cm)
- See more items in
- Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
- Painting and Sculpture
- Smithsonian American Art Museum
- Object\written matter
- Record ID
- Metadata Usage (text)
- GUID (Link to Original Record)
This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Open Access page.
International media Interoperability Framework
IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and media viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. Visit the IIIF page to learn more.