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Possible Old Tattoo Equipment

Hi folks,

I'm new on this forum and I'm looking for a bit of help if anyone has a spare minute or 2? Anything would be greatly appreciated! :)

Unfortunately I've never listed in the military but I thought this may be a good place to get some information and a little help.

To cut a long story short I'm a tattoo artist of many years and a collector of old and important tattooing equipment.

This weekend I purchased a couple of old machines claiming to be from Navy use on board many years ago. The guys selling them didn't really know what they were talking about but they also claimed a couple of ex serviceman confirmed they remembered the machines being used for tattooing a time ago.

I can see how they would work from my side of things, but I'm just after some confirmation and a little more information if anyone has any.

Here's a few photographs:

20130908_153958.jpg20130908_154022.jpg20130908_154128.jpg20130908_154136.jpg



Many thanks
Mark
 

MG Maniac

War Hero
No tattooing done by the Navy (at least 71 - 95), in fact medical branch spent most of the time trying to get people to avoid getting tattooed so would concur is more likely an engraver. Would have thought most Navy "equipment" would have had the MOD arrow marking which I cant see engraved on it in the phots you have provided. In the absence of any markings like below would indicate its not military in origin. The only place that could possibly have used a tattoo machine for removal of tats would have been in a dermatology clinic however pre laser removal most of that was done by dermabrasion or skin grafts and I can't remember there being one in the clinic. Think you may have been sold a dud there!


 

2_deck_dash

War Hero
It does look a lot like an old engraving machine, the guard bit would tie in with that, hand engravers tend to rotate the tool in order to get the cut and the shape of the guard suggests it was made to rotate.

I'm not an engraver myself, but my line of work means I know and work with some of the best guys in the world. Gimme a sec and I'll see if they can make heads or tails of it.

Engineers/chippy's party onboard might have a need to engrave metal parts etc.

What voltage does it run off? Knowing this might help us work out if it was for use on a ship.

I fondly recall a lad buying a cheap and nasty tat machine in Singers and bringing it back onboard with the intention of teaching himself. He had zero experience as a tat artist and wasn't even that good at drawing. Quite rightly the killick of his mess launched it overboard, knowing that a pissed up sailor with a tat machine down the mess was a very bad idea for everyone.

Didn't stop us all getting shit tats ashore though. :)

Pics of your work please mate!
 

slim

War Hero
No tattooing done by the Navy (at least 71 - 95), in fact medical branch spent most of the time trying to get people to avoid getting tattooed so would concur is more likely an engraver. Would have thought most Navy "equipment" would have had the MOD arrow marking which I cant see engraved on it in the phots you have provided. In the absence of any markings like below would indicate its not military in origin. The only place that could possibly have used a tattoo machine for removal of tats would have been in a dermatology clinic however pre laser removal most of that was done by dermabrasion or skin grafts and I can't remember there being one in the clinic. Think you may have been sold a dud there!



The plate states 230 Volts, most stuff designed for ships was 110-115
A search of tinternet shows that sew tric specialised in sewing machine motors.
 
Last edited:

2_deck_dash

War Hero
My oppo says it's not an engraver, or not one that he's ever seen before. They hold the tool like you'd hold a knife at the dinner table. That thing is too bulky to get any control.
 

wal

Lantern Swinger
I've never seen any shaft driven tattooing equipment. Mayhap someone should ask Pinky.
 
Thanks for the replys! I wasn't sure if I was going to get any feedback or not.

I knew they were certainly a gamble as I'd only ever seen another tattoo machine similar once before driven in the same way and not due to the fact the guys were just general dealers.

A stencil machine was my first guess for perforating sheets ready for the sewing machine.

You'd be certainly surprised what they used to dip in ink though back in the day, thinking about it now the 230v was a bit of a give away. I think I'll email some tattoo museums and some of the old boys.

If you want to see any of my work you can find it all via this link : Mark Gibson Tatto Artist at Monki Do

Thanks again
Mark
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
I'd imagine this type machine may well have been used officially by seaman specialists in the Navy for intricate/fiddly sailmaking stuff, but as has been stated the Navy has never officially tattoo-ed anyone, except perhaps when exporting convicts to our antipodean open-prison (before 'leccy was invented) - the practice of tattooing for identification obviously more commonly associated with slavery and more recently associated with the Holocaust.
 

slim

War Hero
Thanks for the replys! I wasn't sure if I was going to get any feedback or not.

I knew they were certainly a gamble as I'd only ever seen another tattoo machine similar once before driven in the same way and not due to the fact the guys were just general dealers.

A stencil machine was my first guess for perforating sheets ready for the sewing machine.

You'd be certainly surprised what they used to dip in ink though back in the day, thinking about it now the 230v was a bit of a give away. I think I'll email some tattoo museums and some of the old boys.

If you want to see any of my work you can find it all via this link : Mark Gibson Tatto Artist at Monki Do

Thanks again
Mark

Looked at the work & not impressed, we are a bunch of horny perveted ex and serving matelots, we know good tats when we see em.
Now let us see some tattood tits and fannies:blob6:
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
Tattooed fanny?
 

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