Before Tattoo Was Popular: 30 Cool Pics of Tattooed Ladies From the Early 20th Century

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Tattoos date back many thousands of years.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the majority of tattoos were found on circus performers or sailors. Tattoos were used to tell someone’s personal story, as well as their professions. For example, it was common for a sailor to have an anchor tattoo.

Tattooed ladies from the early 20th century

Tattoos were not very common or socially acceptable until the mid 20th century. Up until this time, they were reserved for a small population, mainly those in the entertainment industry. Fully tattooed people became a popular attraction in and of themselves.

Tattoos and women at the beginning of the 20th century were not very compatible concepts: skirts and pants and are now badly associated with tattoos. However, even then there were quite radical (in the full sense of the word) ladies who covered their bodies with tattoos, despite the fact that it was socially unacceptable and too rare.

Here below is a set of stunning photographs that captured portraits of tattooed ladies in the early 20th century.

Emma de Burgh, circa early 1900s

Nora Hildebrandt, circa early 1900s

Portrait of a tattooed lady in the early 1900s

Tattooed lady with umbrella, circa 1900s

Maude Wagner, 1908

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