Ladies, gather 'round! You must hear this woman's story! The first female tattoo artist in the US of A made her mark (wink wink) over one hundred years ago in the early 20th Century. Let the good times roll!
Meet Maude Wagner48Stevens49 serious ink -- with full sleeve and chest tattoos! She was bouncing around St. Louis during the World's Fair days, working as an circus acrobat (with that definition to her muscles, it's not hard to see), and met her soon to be hubster, Gus Wagner. She traded a date to Gus for training on needle-style tattooing. She ended up trading for his last name too!
Gus is tattooing Maud here, and once he started, he never stopped. We don't have pictures of the tattoos that Maud herself created, just those that Gus drew on her.
According to Margo DeMello in her history called Inked, “Maud’s tattoos were typical of the period. She wore patriotic tattoos, tattoos of monkeys, butterflies, lions, horses, snakes, trees, women, and had her own name tattooed on her left arm.”
The picture above: Gus, Maud and their only child Lovetta.
Apparently, Maud decreed that Gus would not ink Lovetta, and once Gus passed away, Lovetta decided that if her father was not able to tattoo her, then no one would do it. Their lives together were romantic and movie-worthy. To learn more about Maud Wagner, you can read:
To learn more about Maud and her British counter-part:
For a fantastic read on all of the early female tattoo artists (seriously, a rockstar article!!) then dig into this link: