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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

A woman with full body tattoos sits for a portrait, circa 1907.
Universal History Archive / Getty Images

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

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

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.

A service woman has a tattoo done on her arm in Aldershot, England, in 1951.
Hulton Deutsch / Getty Images

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

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

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.

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

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

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.
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.

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

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

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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.

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.
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.

Tattooist Ronald Austin creates a crucifix tattoo on the chest of a client in 1960.
John Pratt / Getty Images

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

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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.

A tattoo enthusiast flaunts scenes of dragons, flowers, and religious scenes in 1930.
General Photographic Agency / Getty Images

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

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