Electric Pen; A Flunked Idea Turned Into “Ink-Innovation”:

The Electric Pen, most of you our dear readers, are probably thinking that you never heard of such a thing.
Well you shouldn’t feel bad if you haven’t. Unless you are very into tattoo history or the works of Thomas Edison, you probably haven’t heard of the electric pen. It was also known as the ‘stencil pen’.

The stencil pen was originally designed by Edison, to be able to transfer designs onto fabrics. Using a pattern from a paper, that you would put over the fabric. The stencil pen would then prick through the paper, and imprint on the fabric. Already here, we see a certain similarity, to something we know.

The electric pen is indeed, an invention of Edison’s. An invention, which the American inventor never really got the public to pick up on. Unlike his more successful inventions, such as the light-bulb and the gramophone. However, where his initial invention to an extent failed, it paved the way for something else. Indeed this modest invention, became the blueprint for the very first electric tattoo machine.

Famous American inventor, Thomas Edison.

The Innovation of Samuel O’Reilly:

In 1891, over 120 years ago, it happened. Samuel O’Reilly patented his invention, which was based on the electric pen designed by Edison. An invention he patented as the worlds first (electric) tattoo machine. He officially changed the world of tattooing from that year on.

Because of his innovation, tattoos could now be done much quicker, with greater ease and at less of the cost.
It even improved the hygiene of tattooing at the time, as well as improving the precision and technique with which they were performed. Without him, we would’t see the great innovations we are seeing, in the world of tattooing today. Nor would we see the incredible images we can create in the skin today.

Samuel O’Reilly, using his patented tattoo machine.

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