Art: Skins & Needles

Wartime is boomtime for tattooing.

When war came, Britons flocked to London's Waterloo Road to have regimental marks or "I Love Flossie Forever" needled into their skins. Air Raid Precaution women wanted ARP on their arms. One ambulance driver selected a bracelet with her name and address.

Honolulu had only one tattooist during World War I. Today it has 18 in seven tattoo shops (run by one Jap, two Chinese, four Filipinos). For a while they thrived on a new design: "Remember Pearl Harbor," with a bomb about to drop on the words and "December Seventh" on either side of the bomb. But...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!