Charles Wagner

From BME Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Charles Wagner
Charlie wagner tattoo.jpg
Birth Date 1875
Birth Place unknown
Death Date 1 January 1953
Occupation tattoo artist
Website none


Charles Wagner (1875 - January 1, 1953) was a tattoo artist and the apprentice of Samuel O'Reilly, the inventor of the electric tattoo machine. As a young boy, Wagner saw Prince Constantine at a dime museum in the 1880s. This experience influenced his career choice. Charles worked as a tattoo artist in New York City for over 50 years, and in 1904, acquired a patent of his own for a new tattoo machine, with the coils aligned differently to O'Reilly's original. Charles' design is very similar to many of those still used today. Sailors were his biggest customers but he also did work for tattooed ladies such as Betty Broadbent, Mildred Hull, Irene Woodward, May Vandermark and Lotta Pictoria.

When Samuel O'Reilly died, Wagner took over his studio and worked there until he died in 1953.

Wagner was arrested in 1943 in New York for violating the Sanitary Code. He told the judge he was too busy doing necessary work for the war (tattooing clothing on sailors' pin up tattoos) to keep his needles clean. He got a fine for 10$ and was told to clean up his shop. [1]

After he died, the contents of his studio, including his artwork were taken to the city dump.

The Charles Wagner Tattoo Machine

External links

Personal tools