World War II's Badass Female Tattoo Artist


“Before Jessie Knight became Great Britain’s first professional female tattoo artist she worked for her father in his sharp shooting circus act.” We loved these photos of Knight at work, tattooing other women during World War II, even before we knew how awesome she was.

The photos were published in 1951 but almost certainly are older than that, since the Aldershot military tattoo event (here, a drum performance or military display as entertainment) ended in 1939.

A man seeking more information on Knight writes, “Before she did my eagle on my chest in 1965 she lit a match and showed my the flame and I asked her why she was doing this and she told me I do this to show you that I have a steady hand even at my age.”

Knight won second place in the “Champion Tattoo Artist Of All England” contest, held in 1955 in London.

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