It has been cited that early settlers and travelers have noted in
their journals and logs about different indigenous people around
the world as having been adorned with exquisite markings and
designs all over their bodies. The actual word “tattoo” as we
know it today is said to have been formulated by the western
interpretation of the Tahitian word “tatau” (DeMello 2000). Even
further back is carbon etches in rib cages of Neolithic cavemen’s
bodies found in the Alps (Time Magazine 1992).
The origins of tattoo date back pretty far. In fact, there is no
proof of when or where the first tattooing process took place.
There are carbon dated bodies of human remains found which
suggest that tattoo has been in existence as long as man has
been in existence. This text is not here to argue the fact of when
or where the first tattoo occurred. It is important however to recognize
that tattoo has existed in many forms prior to the western
world’s perception.
Whether it is the marking of a rite of passage for an individual, a
score card that can be kept on one’s body forever, or even a religious
symbol; tattoos have been part of the human experience
for ages, and it appears that they will continue to be an integral
part of modern society for years to come.
The basis of the modern tattoo machine is still relatively unchanged
from the 1820 discovery by a Danish inventor Hans
Christian Oersted called electromagnetism (Brian & Cohen
2007). Oersted’s invention is now known, in what is commonly
implemented as a prime motor for the doorbell circuit, as the
basis for all modern coil tattoo systems.

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