Sailor Jerry Tattoos came about through the life experiences and
passion of a man by the name Norman Keith Collins, one of the most
famous tattoo flash artists.
He was well known for tattooing sailors and was generally known as Sailor Jerry. Here are some of sailor Jerry tattoo pictures.
Norman Collins was born during the early years of the 1900s, in 1911 to be precise. While still a boy he boarded freight trains and traveled across the United States, learning about the art of tattooing from a gentleman known simply as Big Mike, who was originally from Alaska.
Initially, Sailor Jerry only tattooed drifters that he met on his travels. Over the years this ability to practice developed what became known as Sailor Jerry Tattoos.
Later on Norman Collins, a.k.a Sailor Jerry, had the opportunity to sail to the Hawaiian Islands, and this is where he eventually settled down. He was known as a rather brute of a man, with a typical sailor’s vocabulary and manner. In fact, according to the man who took over Mr. Collins’ tattoo shop in Honolulu, he was a “class-A pirate”.
Even after he had settled down and was a successful and practicing tattoo artist, he never lost his love of sailing, and continued to work as a skipper of a large schooner, conducting tours of the islands. However, tattooing and sailing were not the only endeavors that he undertook during his lifetime.
Sailor Jerry is also known for being rather musically talented, playing the saxophone in his own band. He also hosted his own radio show, and was a writer to boot.
Sailor Jerry had two students in Ed Hardy and Mike Malone; the latter took over his business upon his death. Sailor Jerry’s legacy lives on thanks to the endeavors of these two men.
They partnered with a Philadelphian clothing company and formed Sailor Jerry Ltd., producing an array of different items from clothing to ash trays and shot glasses. Those interested in purchasing Sailor Jerry items can do so either online or at the Sailor Jerry Store located in Philadelphia.
Among the many different symbols that were used by Sailor Jerry, and became known as Sailor Jerry Tattoos, are snakes, various birds, various weapons, and of course the ever-popular “Aloha” monkey. Sailor Jerry Tattoos are still highly popular, and make use of the safe pigments that Mr. Collins developed himself.
He is also credited with creating needle formations that transfer the ink into the skin with minimal trauma to it, while also being the first tattoo artist to make use of single-use needles and sterilization suitable for hospitals.
Norman Keith Collins was fanatical about detail and quality when it came to his tattoos, which bear testimony to his days as a sailor, complete with mysticism. He enjoyed healthy competition, even though his work was widely copied by many other tattoo artists.
To distinguish himself as the real Sailor Jerry, he had the words “The Original Sailor Jerry” printed on all of his business cards. Although Sailor Jerry passed away in 1973 his legacy still lives on.