The mark of the maverick.
When you think of tattoos, the American Traditional or “Old School” style is likely what comes to mind.
These simple, flat designs with bold black lines and limited colors were first rocked by sailors, servicemen and circus freaks as long ago as the 1700s. They wore their ink with pride as mementos to their tours of duty, voyages, and journeys even though, when they returned home, they knew they’d never be perceived as respectable members of society.
We owe a lot to these pirates, outlaws and bad asses. Modern tattoo as we know it was born from their bravery, irreverence, and full-blown embrace of counterculture.
But it wasn’t until World War II when this style really took off, specifically at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, HI, where none other than the legendary Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins set up shop and started inking American military on the daily.
Those lucky enough to return home from the battlefront came back to the mainland with Sailor Jerry’s American Traditional signature on their biceps—think pirate ships, pin-up girls, anchors, stars, and sparrows—where they left an indelible mark on mid-century American culture from thereon out.
Today, the style remains a flash-art mainstay, popular with people from all walks of life. And you can tip your hat to Sailor Jerry and his league of trendsetters for that.
Old School tattoos remain a springboard for some of the best tattoo artists out there. At the Hart & Huntington Orlando shop, you can find a bunch of wicked talented artists who specialize in the style, adding more color and modern subject matter to evolve it into the 21st century. An American Traditional tattoo is a living legacy, one you can add to your very own collection by taking a seat in our chair.