I won’t lie, I wanted to write a spooky Dracula related headline here, but I’m never sure if it’s appropriate. Today I found out from the brilliant Lal Hardy’s facebook updates that Jack Dracula passed away recently.
I’m going to take a guess and say I’m the second youngest tattoo writer out there (second to Angel at Tattoo Sprout, of course), so I had no idea who he was. Nonetheless, I’m always keen to learn about tattoo history, and I’m always blown away by some of the stories I read- this was no different!
Jack Dracula was a tattoo artist who, after getting his first tattoos around the 1940s (ending up with about 30 in the first year!), and ended up owning studios in the 50s and 60s in New Jersey and Philadelphia. He was also a sideshow attraction for Ringling Brothers Barnum Bailey Circus, Amusements American Carnival and the Huber Museum. He was really well known for his tattoo collection, especially the ones on his face, which you can see in the picture to your left. Jack Dracula’s story was filled with tattoos, freak shows and what he called the “love of the century”, and ended on the 19th in a Philadelphia nursing home. Jack was 75.
If you want to learn about Jack Dracula, Google will help you out, but my favourite links are from the Tattoo Archive and The Day. The link to The Day’s piece on Jack seems to have a video too that you might want to check out.
Rest in peace, Jack Dracula.