Inspired by her new tattoo (and challenged by another podcaster) Beckett explores the history of tattoos in women (mostly of North America and Europe, but there’s a history of the art itself, too.)

Olive Oatman, 1863 by Benjamin Powelson


Nora Hilderandt, circa 1880


Did she or didn’t she? Jennie Jerome Churchill, circa 1899


Maud Stevens Wagner, circa 1907


Betty Broadbent, 1938, courtesy State Library New South Wales



Time Travel With The History Chicks


By Margo Mifflin


By Amelia Clem Osterud


By Jane Caplan


By Maarten Hesselt Van Dinter


By Marc Hartzman


By Joe Nickell


Beckett’s favorite, by Linda Simon


More about Maud Stevens Wagner’s life.

The exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago is no longer open, but you can explore the history of tattoos online through their website.

PBS Skin Stories: The Art and Culture of Polynesian Tattoos

The Bowery Boys discuss, among other things, the invention of the tattoo gun/pen, Episode 323 and here’s an article and photo of that first tattoo pen.

The Washington Post has an article about the complicated history of travel and tattooing. and one about travel, tattoo, and Maud’s husband, Gus.

Snakes? Why did it have to be snakes? An article about snakes in tattoos.

Some women are revitalizing an ancient tattoo tradition, read all about it in this piece from the New York Times.

Did Crusaders get tattoos? Here’s a talk at the Museum of St. John that explores that very question:

Curious about the history of tattoos in America? Skin Factory Tattoo has an article for you!

And how did tattoos become fashionable in Victorian England? Here’s an article from The Conversation and another from Smithsonian Magazine that answers that question (It was a very curious route!)

Ever want to run away and join the circus? You would be in good company with these Stars Who Ran Away to Join The Circus.

Photos from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, and a bit about the mysterious Miss La La

Moving Pictures!

You can find this on Amazon Prime, streaming

You can find this on Peacock or Apple TV


A collection of Lydia the Tattooed Lady videos:

Groucho Marx:


Robin Williams, from the movie, The Fisher King:


The Muppets:

And the version that was performed at Jim Henson’s funeral (starts at 1:38):


Break music: Jack My Swag, Harper Active; End Music: Thrillbound by Napoleon Blownaparts