1964 TV Feature on Doc Forbes Now Online
A must-watch, absolute gem of tattoo history can be found in this 1964 profile on Doc Forbes entitled "The Diary of a Tattooist." CBC 20/20 host Harry Mannis visited Doc Forbes at his studio in Victoria, B.C. and interviewed the legendary tattooer, as well as his clients, who include a mother of four, an 82-year-old man, "Doc's lady friend Helen," and two sailors as they sit in Doc's chair. Doc even tattoos Mannis (without ink), so the host could understand the sensation.
There are just so many fascinating elements to the 32-minute video, including Doc's discussion on hygiene and safety in tattooing; how he mixes pigments and runs his machine a certain way for particular artistic effects; how his clientele is not limited to sailors but all kinds of people, and so much more. I also love the interviews with his clients, especially "his lady friend" who is heavily tattooed, but chose not to reveal her artwork, and so they measured her dresses so that she can always cover them.
There are some moments when the host is interviewing Doc while his machine is running and the sound quality isn't great, but stick with it and enjoy the program until the end. It's worth it.
[Thanks to Thomas the Tall Tattooed Typographer for the link!]