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26 Badass Vintage Photos Of Tattoos From History

A look back at early ink, presented by Getty Images.

Posted on April 6, 2017, at 5:33 p.m. ET

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A woman with full body tattoos sits for a portrait, circa 1907.

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Japanese tattoo artist Tokumitsu Uchida works over the outline of a design during the 1950s.

Keystone Features / Getty Images
Keystone Features / Getty Images

A Japanese man shows off his full body tattoos in 1958.

Hulton Deutsch / Getty Images

A service woman has a tattoo done on her arm in Aldershot, England, in 1951.

John Firth / Getty Images

A tattoo artist paints a permanent beauty spot on the cheek of a woman at his workshop in Copenhagen in 1956.

Central Press / Getty Images
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Left: Four cooks from the HMS Belfast show off their tattoos in 1961. Right: A tattooist paints a small rose on the thigh of a woman in 1961.

John Pratt / Getty Images

Tattooist Les Skuse works on a large Japanese scene across the back of a client in 1960.

John Firth / Getty Images
John Firth / Getty Images

Left: Two men check out designs in the window of a Copenhagen tattoo parlor in 1956. Right: Tools and ink crowd the workbench of New York tattooist Charlie Wagner in the 1940s.

Keystone Features / Getty Images

A young boy admires the tattoos on the backs of Japanese men at a rally held for tattooists and their clients in 1958.

Three Lions / Getty Images

An Ainu woman from northern Japan shows off her tattooed lips, circa 1960. Her upper lip was slashed during childhood and ashes were rubbed in to leave a scar.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Getty Images

Left: A Maori woman poses for a studio portrait with lips and chin freshly tattooed, circa 1900. Right: A Maori chief from New Zealand sits for a portrait bearing traditional facial tattoos in 1950.

Jim Ryan / Getty Images

Forbes A. Hendry, a tattooist In British Columbia, tattoos a small boy's foot with his name in 1965.

Keystone / Getty Images
Getty Images

Left: A tattooist works on a chest piece in 1964. Right: A tattoo artist inks a client in 1960 with the name of her partner, Jim.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Jacobus Van Dyn, known to Londoners as the Tattoo Man, tries out a few holds in the dressing room before a contest in his new profession of wrestling in 1936.

General Photographic Agency / Getty Images
Getty Images

Left: Famed tattoo artist George Burchett works on a client's thigh in 1930. Right: A man in 1948 has an arm tattoo of a former lover changed into a snake.

John Pratt / Getty Images

Tattooist Ronald Austin creates a crucifix tattoo on the chest of a client in 1960.

General Photographic Agency / Getty Images
Getty Images

Left: A young woman shows off her chest tattoo of a horse and jockey in 1930. Right: A man shows off back tattoos of cherubs and dancing girls, also circa 1930.

General Photographic Agency / Getty Images

A tattoo enthusiast flaunts scenes of dragons, flowers, and religious scenes in 1930.

John Pratt / Getty Images

Farmer Jasper Ely shows off his tattooed calves at a Bristol tattoo club in 1960.

See more pictures of early tattoos at Getty Images.

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