The Electric Doorbell and the Tattoo Machine

03.28.22

Tattoo History Machines
Jay Brown is killing it with the Reinventing the Tattoo history course "The History of Electric Tattooing". It's FREE, and required reading for apprentices from here on out. Link in comments.

"The Electric Doorbell and the Tattoo Machine

by Jay Brown - Northwest Tattoo Museum

The dual inline coil bell mechanism and the coil type tattoo machines are almost siblings. I love old doorbells, and strongly believe that they were the inspiration for the inline coil tattoo machine. Often times in the past Tattooers would convert bells into tattoo machines. I even saw an ad from Percy Waters in the 1920's stating "For Your Protection - Don't be Bunked " that went on about jip artist suppliers, selling bootlegged designs and inferior equipment and as he said "...machines made over from door buzzers, (and) radio parts..." others were selling. Tattooists cut the frames so that they could be modified with a tube vise and handpiece, then cut back the clapper so that a needle bar could be attached, the business part of the device was already there. The electric bells predates the 1876 and 1877 Edison Stencil Pen patents that are believed to be the origin of electric tattoo machines, or the inspiration. Here is the history."