Happy Birthday Electric Tattoo Machine!
Photo by Edgar Hoill
Today is the 120th anniversary of Samuel O'Reilly's electric tattoo machine, patented in 1891. As noted in this Reason.com post, the New York tattooist's invention is "based on the design for Thomas Edison's autographic printer, which was essentially a motorized engraving tool [which] sped up the process of tattooing while vastly improving the quality of the final product."
The Tattoo Archive has an extensive article on the machine's history. They also have cool posters for sale with the original patent text and illustrations (shown below).
Also check Jinx Boo's writing on the electric machine (and her entire blog if you haven't).
[Reason.com link via the Hope Gallery Blog.]