Tattoo Book of Days: Past Present and Future
If you are a lover of tattoo trivia or doing historical research on tattooing, this special collectible is a worthy addition to your resources. The TATTOO BOOK OF DAYS, PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE is a compendium from reknowned tattoo artist Lyle Tuttle. The edition I am referring to is the Special Anniversary Edition, published by Proteus Press in 1996. All of the information is material collected by Tuttle over the course of the previous 50 years, according to the publisher’s note, starting when he was a teenager and he picked up a tattooist’s business card.
Essentially a neat, little calendar of information, the TATTOO BOOK OF DAYS usually has between three and nine tattoo-related birthdays or facts for every day of the year. There's even a February 29th entry for Leap Years. The volume is bound with a wire spiral, much like a small desk calendar. If you are working to acquire or expand a base knowledge of tattoo trivia, this would be the book to do it.
Along with copious birthday listings, the books is also full of photos, quotes and historical tidbits all relating to tattooing. One of my favorites was a top ten list of "classic" tattoo mistakes. These were phrases that are often misspelled when tattooed, and neither tattooist nor client notices until it is too late. "Born to loose" is listed as #3.
The photographs of historical tattoo moments are widely varied and range from tattoo business card reproductions to photographic stills to formal portraits. The turn of the century portrait of tattooed man Stephen Wagner is there, the captions advertising his 1914-1915 circus tour appearances. Norman Rockwell's famous cover illustration "The Tattooist" is there, dating back to March 4, 1944. People might not know that is the name for that classic image of a sailor getting yet another girl's name crossed off and a new one added, but the illustration is familiar to many people, even those without tattoos. You can see TV host Steve Allen getting tattooed on his own television show dating from 1962.
You get birthdates of thousands of tattoo artists, fans, collectors and other colorful people. There are portraits or quotes to accompany a few of the artists on each page. The people included range across the century and a half and are scattered across the world. In his tattoo career, Lyle Tuttle made connections and found tattoo community all over the globe, and the bits and bobs he’s gathered here clearly reflect that.