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Most Lasting Tattoo Tribute 

Tattoo Archive

Tattoo artists deserve more credit. Their best artifacts die off -- literally. It's good, then, to see a local archivist preserving something from the art form's rich history. At Tattoo Archive, C.W. Eldridge has compiled a wealthy library on the genre's star artists and notable tattooees. Visitors can take a seat in the small shop and consider the posters high up on the walls, the pioneers of early American tattooing. Up there, that's Betty Broadbent, a fully tattooed woman circa 1920 who was carted around to circus sideshows. A few posters down, that's the Great Omi, an Englishman who inked his face way before it became passé. Our favorite, Lady Viola, had portraits of American presidents on her chest and the White House on her back. Tattoo Archive is also home to the Paul Rogers Tattoo Research Center, a new nonprofit Eldridge formed to help preserve tattoo history before, ahem, it fades away.


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