Who Invented the Tattoo Machine?

The tattoo process has changed only minimally over the last one hundred and twenty some years. The electric tattoo machine was claimed to be invented by Samuel O’Reilly in 1891 but what many do not realize is that Thomas Edison filed numerous patents in 1876-77.
Tattoo Machine Image  So who actually invented the tattoo machine?
Well Thomas Edison invented the idea to be used as a mechanical pen, Samuel O’reilly used the idea and improved on the patent to make first tattoo machine.
 So that question comes down to the old chicken and the egg theory? the answer will remain a mystery.
Here is how the modern tattoo machine works:
 A tattoo machine has three systems that must work together for the machine to function properly. The three systems of a tattoo machine are:
• the mechanical system
• the magnetic system
• the electrical system
Tattoo Machine Inventor ImageThe point of a proper  tattoo machine  is to achieve synchronization of the these three systems while controlling the speed duty cycle and force of the machine.
One of the questions i get asked all the time is what is the proper voltage to run a machine at? the answer is simple, you can tune a machine at any voltage.
For example if you tune a machine to run at 2 volts and can achieve the above mentioned synchronization, you can also tune it to run the exact same at 10 volts.
edison-tattoo-machineThe voltage is the number you tune it to, to allow more or less current to get your results. Many artists have there own voltage they like to use, some of them higher, some lower. I would suggest tuning the machine to run at 7.5 volts, so you are always trying to tune your machines at the same number to make it easier and have less touching the voltage control knob, thus eliminating cross contamination chances.
There is so much to learn about tattoo machines, knowledge is power.
If you have any questions, feel free to send us a email, we would be glad to help you out with any questions that you may have.

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