Business Card From 13 South Hotel St.
Collins, better known as "Sailor Jerry" in the tattoo business, was born in 1911. By the 1920s he was sailing the Great Lakes, traveling the United States and tattooing on the side. For a short time Jerry operated a shop on South State Street in Chicago when he moved to Hawaii, he rubber stamped his new address of 150 North Hotel Street in Honolulu on the South State Street card!
Sailor Jerry Stencil
Sailor Jerry worked at a few locations in Honolulu, including 13 South Hotel Street, as seen above, before he settled into his 1033 Smith Street location.
Although Jerry was world famous for his tattooing, he had other interests. The sea was always a part of his life and while holding Captain's papers in the 1950s; he skippered a tour ship that covered the Pearl Harbor memorial. His study of electronics led to a first class FCC license, and for several years he hosted a late night talk show on a local radio station. On that show he was known as "Old Ironsides", another reflection on his interest in the sea.
For a workingman's tattoo shop in an era where acetate stencils were king, Jerry would make rubs from his new designs and mail them out to his friends. This was a popular way for an artist to exchange designs.
Punchbowl Honolulu, Hawaii.
Sailor Jerry died June 12, 1973 and is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, (commonly known as the "Punchbowl") in Honolulu, Hawaii. This cemetery is located in the crater of an extinct volcano. The site of Jerry's grave is 124/Section T. If you happen to find yourself in Honolulu, stop by to say hello.
Tattoo Archive © 2002