Samuel O'Reilly

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Samuel O'Reilly
Died 1908
Brooklyn, New York
Occupation Tattoo Artist
Known for Invented the rotary Tattoo Machine

Samuel O'Reilly was a successful New York tattoo artist and the inventor of the modern rotary tattoo machine, which he patented in 1891.[1][2] He began tattooing in New York around 1875.[3] O'Reilly's machine was based on the rotary technology of Thomas Edison's autographic printing pen.[4] It was the first tattooing device which ran off of electricity.[5] Tattoo machines have had very few changes since then.[6] O'Reilly owned a shop in New York City at #11 Chatham Square.[7] Charles Wagner worked with O'Reilly as an apprentice.[8] In 1908, Samuel O'Reilly fell while painting his house and died.

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