History of Tattoos

Tattoos and tattoo culture have history of thousands of years. Nobody knows the exact time when tattoos were first invented by man. Nevertheless, tattoos have a rich tradition and have been an important part of many cultures. They were a symbol of a society or a civilization. Some tribes even believed that tattoos have the ability to keep diseases away.

Researches believe that tattoo culture started from Egypt. Studies revealed that during the time of pharaohs, the Egyptians used tattoo to mark the slaves. Tattoos came to China and Greece from Egypt. That was approximately 2000 years before Christ. From China tattoos spread to Japan. While the Chinese and Japanese used tattoos for religious purposes the Greeks used tattoos for spy work as a way to exchange secret messages. This indicates that tattoos had differed purpose in each civilization and as the time changed so their beliefs as well. During those days tattoo infections were common and there were no effective tattoo removal methods.

But despite of the popularity of tattoos in Asian, Greek and Egyptian culture, tattoos did not gain much of acceptance in the western countries. Perhaps the westerns thought tattoos as part of black magic and spiritual beliefs more than as an art. It took many more centuries for the British and other people from west to accept tattoos. In 1961, an explorer called William Dampher brought tattooed man to England. His idea was make money by exhibiting the tattooed man to the western people. But this actually resulted in the popularity of tattoos in England.
In America Samuel O-Reily opened the first tattoo shop in Chatham Square, New York. He is reported as the first man to use electric tattoo guns which where based on Thomas Edison’s electric pin. This was a huge improvement in the whole tattooing process. Previously only highly skilled artists could do tattoos with traditional needles. Even then it was extremely painful. That is why people believe that if you can withstand the pain of tattooing you can overcome any sort of pain and difficulties in life. During the 1960’s the electric tattoo guns started spreading out and tattoos became increasingly popular in America and other western countries.
These days’ tattoos are regarded as an art as well as a symbol of strength. More than half of the American populations reportedly have a tattoo at least once in their life time. These days’ tough colored tattoos and funny tattoos are extremely poplar, traditional and tribal tattoos are preferred by many people who consider tattoos as a symbol of strength and courage.

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