Back before an electric motor was connected to a pen, tattoo artists could manually perforate the skin about 2-3 times per second. After 1891, tattoo artists were able to get up to 50 times per minute with an electric, motorized pen. Nowadays, a tattoo artist can choose from between 50 to 3,000 perforations per minute.
If you're interested in learning about how a modern portable tattoo kit would look like, we can start by thanking Thomas Edison.
In 1875, Edison and his team invented the first practical application of the electric motor: a portable copy machine.
What's the connection? Well, in 1877, Thomas Edison and his team sought to produce 200 electric pens for people to be able to essentially make a stencil with which to make further copies by punching holes into paper. Then, by rolling ink over the holes, multiple copies of a document could be made.
Here’s how the pen worked:
The electric motor at the top of the pen turned.
A cam, when turning, caused a needle to extend and prick a hole in the paper. The pen’s cam worked like a cam in an internal combustion engine, pumping up and down to make patterns of perforations in the paper, whatever the user’s hand was writing.
Once the paper was perforated, the user would then take an inking roller to pass ink through the perforations to a piece of paper beneath.
Enter: The Tattooing Machine Patent
Despite being the first practical use of the electric motor, Edison's portable copying pen wasn’t a huge success. However, in 1891, inventor Samuel O’Reilly received a patent for a tattooing machine that was based on the electric pen.
Previously, tattoo artists had been able to manually perforate the skin about two or three times per second. O’Reilly’s device could perforate the skin at an "automated" 50 times per second.
How Can You Ink On the Go with Portable Tattoo Ink Systems?
The attachment of an electric motor to a writing/drawing device has revolutionized the industry in the 130+ years since O'Reilly's patent.
In 2023, the tattoo artist's portable tattoo kit includes:
- A dependable tattoo pen with adjustable power settings & power adaptor (preferably cordless)
- Black and White tattoo inks and about 4-10 colors
- Extra ink containers as "a color palette" for mixing
- Ergonomic pack with cleansing, sanitation, and other misc. items
Picture this: a compact set with all the essentials—pen, black ink, white ink, and four primary colors—all neatly packed in a convenient "medkit-tattoo-kit". It's like having your own mini tattoo studio on the go, ready to create masterpieces at parties, events, or wherever your creative journey takes you.
The beauty of a portable tattoo ink system lies in its versatility and convenience. It's a game-changer for tattoo artists who want to explore new horizons and showcase their skills in different settings. Whether you're attending a tattoo convention, a music festival, or simply tattooing at private events, having a portable setup opens up a world of opportunities.
With a compact ink system at your disposal, you have the freedom to create incredible tattoos wherever inspiration strikes.
Now, let's take a closer look at what makes these portable tattoo ink systems so impressive. First and foremost, the pen-like design of modern tattoo pens provides excellent control and precision, allowing you to navigate intricate details with ease.
The inclusion of black and white ink, along with the four primary colors, provides a versatile palette to work with. Whether you're aiming for bold and vibrant designs or subtle shading and highlights, this compact set has got you covered. You can mix and blend colors on the spot, unleashing your creativity and achieving stunning results.
Your bag for your kit ensures that all your tattooing essentials are organized and easily accessible. If you need a quick wet-wipe or a cleansing solution, it could be within hand's reach. With a portable tattoo ink system, a tattoo artist could always prepared, saving time and effort that could be better spent focusing on your art.
Imagine the reactions you'll receive when people see you creating stunning tattoos on the go. There's nothing like watching someone create. Your portable setup becomes a conversation starter, a testament to your dedication, and a symbol of your passion for the craft.
It's an opportunity to connect with fellow artists, engage with curious onlookers, and leave a lasting impression wherever you set up shop.
So, if you're a tattoo artist looking to expand your horizons, a portable tattoo ink system is a game-changer you won't want to miss.
Just remember, while a portable tattoo ink system offers incredible flexibility, it's essential to prioritize cleanliness, hygiene, and safety practices no matter where you tattoo. Adhere to strict sterilization protocols, use disposable materials when necessary, and maintain a high level of professionalism to ensure both you and your clients are protected.
Ink on the fly and keep spreading those incredible tattoo vibes!
For more information on our TATTOO INK sets, please take a look at our piece on Xtreme Inks: Artist Collections.