Norman 'Sailor Jerry' Collins Timeline

Sailor Jerry tattooing a customer's back

Born January 14th in Reno, Nevada

Nautical tattoo flash by Sailor Jerry
Sailor Jerry donkey tattoo

Given the nickname 'Jerry' after his father notices a similar disposition between the young troublemaker & the family's cantankerous mule. The 'Sailor' was added later when he joined the Navy

Sailor Jerry name tattoo flash - hearts and swallows

Travels across America hopping freight trains & hand poking tattoos on fellow travellers

Meets Tatts Thomas who teaches him to use the tattoo machine

Sailors in Hawaii

Enlists in the US Navy & travels to China & Japan starting a lifelong appreciation of their art

Sailor Jerry palm tree tattoo

After a stint in the Navy, moves to Hawaii & starts working as a tattoo artist

A flyer for Sailor Jerry's tattoo parlor in Honolulu

Sets up his own tattoo parlor in notorious Hotel St. district of Honolulu

Sailor Jerry Japanese-style dragon tattoo

Despite post-WWII ill will against Japan, corresponds with Japanese tattoo masters to learn more about Asian style in order to perfect his technique

To protest what he sees as government's meddling in his affairs, he shuts down his shop

Tattoo flash at Sailor Jerry's shop on 1033 Smith Street

Reopens his shop at 1033 Smith Street. Artists pilgrimage from all over to work with him

Sailor Jerry clipper ship nautical tattoo

A true renaissance man, he starts a radio show & captains a schooner giving tours of the islands

Invites future tattoo legends Ed Hardy, Mike Malone & Kazuo Oguri to apprentice with him

Norman 'Sailor Jerry' Collins
Sailor Jerry 'A Sailor's Grave' lifesaver tattoo

Suffers heart attack & passes away, leaving his shop & art to protégés Ed Hardy & Mike Malone-if it doesn't end up in their hands, he leaves instructions to burn everything