At the end of World War II, before tattoo shops sprang up all over Manhattan and before downtown was a place to raise a family, Bowery Stan Moskowitz started tattooing out of a booth in his father’s barbershop in Chinatown. He was twelve years old. Local drunks and bums, outcasts and soldiers who were passing through were just some of the characters he tattooed in those early days. Stan, along with his father and his partners, William “Jonesy” Jones and Charles Wagner, helped to shape the tattoo business as we know it today—from building new machines in the ‘40s to fighting to keep tattooing legal when it came under attack in the ‘60s. Bowery Stan has watched the tattoo industry and his old neighborhood grow and change in the fifty-six years since he got his start. This time, we talked about how it was when he began.
Read Conversations With Bowery Stan by Sam Paul in the latest issue of Skin&Ink. On sale now!!!