Over the past day or so, I have been photocopying and scanning a series of stories by William E. Barrett featuring “Needle Mike” a detective who went around applying rather unusal tatoos on various bodies — alive and dead. It was a seies of tales that appeared in Dime Detective in the 1930’s and 1940’s and it is virtually forgotten today, except for a small and select group of afficiadoes who recommended the project as a Lost Treasure in the first place.
Tattoes are today a rather more socially accepted method of body mutilation, than they were 60 years ago, except if you were in the Navy, or a member of a culture with a longstanding tradition of body marking, and of course, not to mention the despiciable body numbering used in German Prison Camps during WWII. Some designs I have seen, I have to admit are “Beautiful,” — but here there is a generation gap, — in my opinion, not stippled on a human body.
And now were are a little off topic, I wanted to illustrate some examples of advertising on the back of these same pulp magazines which encouraged the reader to abuse their bodies in quite a different way –tobacco. The two adds illustrated below appear to copyrighted by Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co. — a company I have never heard of before. I suppose I could “google” them, but suffice to say, these adds would be construed as illegal or at best misinformed in the present day.