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My sister and I both had one tattoo’d before xmas as a tribute to our dad that passed away many years ago, it was my sisters first tat and she had just turned 18! Norman 'Sailor Jerry' Collins is the father of the old-school tattoo and we make old-school rum — but our site doesn't work on old-school web browsers (blame the tech geeks). To see our site in its full glory, you'll have to upgrade to a newer version of Internet Explorer. TATTOOS WERE THE PROVINCE OF PEOPLE LIVING OUTSIDE THE CONSTRAINTS OF MAINSTREAM SOCIETY — SAILORS, HOBOS AND CIRCUS FREAKS. The closest tattoos brushed against accessibility was on the arms of enlisted servicemen (officers rarely dared to ink themselves), who often got tattoos to signify their military unit, the battles they fought in and the number of enemies they killed. Then came WWII, when millions of young American men who would have otherwise been upstanding vanilla-looking, cardigan-wearing citizens, were thrust into war.
Whatever quaint certainties these men were counting on were now overshadowed by the trials and hazards of battle — they didn’t know if they’d make it out and if they did, the last thing they were worried about was some snotty banker giving them crap about their tattoo. It was on the backs, shoulders and arms of men like these where Sailor Jerry built his rep and changed the world of tattoos. By the 50’s and 60’s, Americans getting tattoos included the most aggressive elements of counterculture, outlaw biker gangs, convicts and others without the desire or expectation to “move up” in society. Yet through it all, Jerry's old-school tattoo influence is more pervasive than ever — his style, color palette and technical innovations remain an indelible part of the tattoo world. Not only the best rum on the high seas, but some brilliant inspiration for some of the coolest naval tatts around. If you were a proper gentleman on the streets of London or Paris in the 1600s, you did not have a tattoo (although you were probably sporting a codpiece).
The Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor, just West of Honolulu, became a crossroads and the ultimate shore leave destination for millions of servicemen – it was also home to the tattoo shop of a heavily inked former Navy man named Norman Collins, aka Sailor Jerry.
Jerry combined vivid color, bold iconography and sheer artistic ambition to create a new kind of tattooing.

You don’t have to be a sailor to appreciate a great sea tattoo, just as you don’t have to be enamored of the rum either! Finally, by the 1700s, there was a kind of man who looked at the world differently — who fled the safety and constraints of civilization for another kind of existence. He was also the first Westerner to correspond with and learn directly from the great Japanese tattoo masters. But it took another level of commitment to inscribe your body with an image that permanently states your beliefs, affiliation or anti-establishment attitude. And the union of boldness and complexity Jerry achieved with his work continues to be a hallmark of the form.
These fun designs are great for people after that quirky sailor tatt look.These tattoos are pretty amazing, and you will find that they are traditional and quite happy.
He mastered their techniques and vowed to “beat them at their own game” — which he did by combining their techniques with his own gusty American sensibility to come up with a new style of tattooing. By the late 70’s and early 80’s, getting aggressively tattooed and pierced became a mark of punk culture’s disdain for conformity and social mobility. They represent everything that sailors have to deal with, and it helps when the attention to detail and colors are authentic.A Bit of a Navy FlashbackThis tattoo is a perfect representation of a sailor jerry tattoo, and it is of beautiful colors. According to what records exist, it was the men on Captain James Cook’s crew who first chose to get tattoos as mementos of their journey to the great tattoo cultures of Japan, China and the Pacific Islands.
IN HAWAII, TATTOOS WERE USED TO SAFEGUARD HEALTH (UNTIL STICK-IN-THE-MUD MISSIONARIES MADE THEM STOP). Beyond this, he was also innovative on a more technical level, pioneering modern tattoo machine configurations, sterilization techniques and purple ink.
Seeing mermaids means that you are missing the women back home, and any navy man can understand that little desire. It shows that there are many things that show up in a sailor’s life, and booze, duty, and women show up in it.

It is said that you can see the birds and follow them to land, but this sailor wanted to follow them to a beautiful and happy woman waiting for the women on the shore. Their duty is clearly outlined with the anchor in the background, but it anchors them to their life as well. This means that this sailor thought often of home, and the beautiful design is common in all sailor jerry tattoos. Of course, the beauty in the waves is unmistakable, and truly it may have carried him home.Personal TemptationThis tattoo shoes that personal temptation is waiting for this sailor as soon as he gets home, as someone named Bianca is waiting for him. It’s a beautiful tattoo that probably is much like the likeness of the beauty that is waiting there for him. Its simplicity speaks volumes, and it supposed to help the sailor wait until he gets home, keeping him motivated.Pick Your PoisonThis tattoo is certainly a sailor jerry tattoo, shown its design and coloring, but it is one of the much more playful ones. Honor and duty above all else when in the navy, but you will find that some, such as this one want to have a little more fun with what poison they choose and warn themselves against.
Though, many would doubt he stayed away from it.Living FreeLiving free is extremely important to any navy man, and that is the exact reason that they go to fight for their freedom in the first place. This is because living free is something that is important, and it has to be brought to you on the wings of freedom, and this sailor jerry tattoo does just that. You will find that this beautiful sailor jerry tattoo is of the same design and colors as the others.

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