Tattoo Projects, Carmen Nyssen

Dedicated to Preserving the Rich History of Tattooing

Ongoing: Documenting the burial sites of tattoo artists, tattooed people, and related characters on Find A Grave.

Ongoing: Head researcher at Tattoo Archive



Chicago Tattooing #414 State Street. Tattoo Archive, 2017. Print. Research Contribution.

Tattoo, an Exhibition. Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Lender & Tattoo History Contribution
Nov 19, 2017-April 15, 2018
Developed by Musee De Quai Branly Jacques Chirac

Old-School Ink: New Haven’s Tattoos. New Haven Museum. Lender &  Research contribution.
September 23, 2017-March 10, 2018.

Ralph Ashwell, Tattoo Flash. Yellow Beak Press, 2017. Print. Research & writing contribution, Ralph Ashwell biography.
Book Release Party, December 08, 2017, Great Lakes Tattoo, Chicago, IL

Life & Times: Charles J. Geizer. Tattoo Archive, 2017. Print. Research Contribution.
Credits: “A Special thanks to Carmen Nyssen and Dave Waugh for their help with this booklet.”

Life & Times: Jean Carroll. Tattoo Archive, 2017. Print. Research Contribution.
Credits: “Would like to send out a special thank you to our head researcher Carmen Nyssen for her help with this booklet.”
Breakthrough research on the identity and life of Jean Fiorella Carroll.

Tattooed Boston: Eagles, Anchors, and Flags.  Major research contribution. Over two years of intensive research on over a hundred tattoo artists and tattooed people connected to Boston and beyond. (Started project December 2014. Quit project February 2017)

“Bounty from the Bowery: August Obermuller and the Marketing of Early American Tattoo Culture.” The Daguerreian Annual 2016, 2017, pp. 168–177. By Margaret Hodges, Derin Bray, and Carmen Forquer Nyssen

“Tattoo Trade Cards: The Ephemera of Electric Art, 1900-1930.” The Ephemera Journal. vol. 19, no. 2, Jan. 2017, pp. 1, 4-9. By Derin Bray and Carmen Forquer Nyssen

Tattooed New York, New York Historical Society, Online Resource Contribution
Jan 2017 – April 2017

Antiques The Magazine, Jan-Feb 2017: Gotham Ink by Christian Petru Penaite
Re: Tattooed New York: “Online resources organized by Chuck Eldridge, Anna Felicity Friedman, and Carmen Forquer Nyssen provided a wealth of well­ documented information.”

Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed. National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Image contribution.
March 17, 2017-January 7, 2018

Grunwald Gallery. Indiana Tattoo: History and Legacy Exhibition. Indiana University, 2017. Lender & information contribution.
Jan 13, 2017 – Feb 3, 2017
Also See: The wild history of illegal Indiana ink and infamous Hoosier tattoo artists


Life & Times: Elizabeth Weinzirl. Tattoo Archive, 2016. Print. Research Contribution.
Credits: “We would like to thank Mary Jane Haake and our head researcher Carmen Nyssen for their generous help with this booklet.”

Fine Art For The Masses.” Irish America Magazine, April/May 2016. Print & Web. Citing original research from Samuel O’Reilly biography on

Lost Love Vol 2. Yellow Beak Press (Tattoo Book), 2016. Print. Editing & visual contribution.

Travels in My Skin Podcast. Hosted by Jess Moss of Watchtower Radio. Co-host: Carmen Nyssen
2015 – Feb 2016
Episode 1: Great-Uncle Bert
Episode 2: Tattoos & Troublemakers
Episode 3: Painless Nell & The Ladies of Tattooing
Episode 4: Who Invented the Tattoo Machine?
Episode 5: The Saga of Owen Jensen


Buzzworthy Tattoo History: a site dedicated to accurately documenting tattoo history with insightful perspective.
2015 – Present

Bert Grimm.” Z Tattoo Magazine, July 2015. Print. By Carmen Forquer Nyssen

“Bob Wicks.” Rough Outline Magazine. Lucky Tattoo Supply, 2015. Print. Research Contribution.

Lew Alberts. Hardy Marks, 2015. Print. Research Contribution

Intro by Ed Hardy: “More recently, detailed material about him [Lew Alberts] has come to light through the research of tattoo historian Carmen Forquer.” Credits: Special Thanks, Carmen Forquer.

Life & Times: Bernard L. Kobel. Tattoo Archive, 2015. Print. Research Contribution.
Credit: “Special thanks to our head researcher Carmen Nyssen.”

Life & Times: Ralph E. Johnstone. Tattoo Archive, 2015. Print. Research Contribution.
Credits: “A very special thanks to our Head Researcher “Extraordinaire”…Carmen Nyssen”

Sailor Vern. Yellow Beak Press, 2015. Print. Research and Writing Contributions
Thank You page: “The foundation of this project was very difficult to formulate. Without the help of Carmen Nyssen, Chuck Eldridge, and Ed Hardy, this book would not have come to fruition.”

Tattoo Machine History. Alliance of Professional Tattooists Trade Show Seminar, Oct 2015.
Tattoo Machine History, Seminar by Shane Enholm & Carmen Nyssen

“Mr. and Mrs. Ted Hamilton” Things and Ink no. 9, 2015: 63-65. Print. By Amelia Klem Osterud and Carmen Nyssen

Sweet, Sam. “Bert Grimm, Grandfather of American Tattooing.” All Night Menu, Vol 2, 2015. Print.
Interviewed by author about Bert Grimm and Los Angeles tattoo history


Attendee and check-in volunteer at the 35th Annual National Tattoo Association Convention. May 2014.

A mysterious 19th-century tattoo artist, identified at last.” Boston Globe, May 25, 2014. Print.
Interviewed about my research on elusive tattooer, C.H. Fellowes.

“The Heart of it All,” Tattoo Master Magazine no. 21: 42-46, 2014. Research Contribution, Joe Clingan

Life & Times: Buzz Claydon. Tattoo Archive, 2014. Print. Research Contribution.
Credits: “Anyone that’s been following the Tattoo Archive’s Life & Times series knows that without Carmen Nyssen’s research it would be near impossible to bring the depth of detail to those long-gone tattooists.”

Life & Times: Frank & Annie Howard. Tattoo Archive, 2014. Print. Research Contribution.
Credits: “A very special thank you goes out to researcher extraordinaire, Carmen Nyssen, without her help this booklet would be a lot less thorough.”
Breakthrough research on the identity and career of tattooed couple Frank and Annie Howard, real names Frank Howard Packard and Annie Jane D. Morrison, as well as their daughter Ivy Howard, real name Caroline Minnie Frances Packard.

Lyle Tuttle’s Tattoo Museum
A work-in-progress: Providing research on San Francisco Tattoo Artists


Harry Warren Allen. Blue Letter Books, 2013. Research Contribution.


Life & Times: Johnny Walker. Tattoo Archive, 2012. Print. Research Contribution.
Credits: “We had the pleasure of interviewing Johnny in 1992 and along with the many letters he wrote to Paul Rogers and the diligent research by Carmen Nyssen, we were able to assemble this Life & Times booklet…”

Life & Times: Mildred Hull. Tattoo Archive, 2012. Print. Research Contribution.
Credits: “Before we get into Millie’s story, I would like to send a big thank-you to Carmen Nyssen for her tireless research. Without Carmen’s work, we would have a lot less information about Millie and her life…”

Previous Years

Smithsonian Files: Research, tattoo artist Joe Clingan, 2011.

“Thomas Lockhart: Canada’s Noble Scotsman.” Skin & Ink, June 2008: 68-74. Print. By Carmen Forquer.
Editor’s Notes, Bob Baxter: “He’s done it all and seen it all, but he’s never had his story in Skin & Ink. Let’s put an end to that oversight right here and now.”

“Legendary Inksters & Dirty Tricksters.” Skin & Ink, Aug 2007: 64-73. Print. By Carmen Forquer
Editor’s Notes, Bob Baxter: “A trip back to the early days, when dirty tricks and genius con-men ruled the roost and helped to immortalize The Pike, Bert Grimm, “Buffalo Bill” Cody and three who survived: Don Deaton, Rio DeGennaro and Sea Tramp Tattoo.”

Historical Resume: Organizing Your Research.Genealogy Today, 2006. Print & Website. By Carmen Forquer.
Tips for researching: “Who? What? Where? When? These are the questions we are constantly asking in the hunt for our ancestors. Keeping the answers organized in a Historical Resume can help keep your research on track.”

“Bert Grimm: The Man Who Tattooed Bonnie & Clyde.” Skin & Ink, Nov 2005: 64-75. Print. By Carmen Forquer.
Editor’s Notes, Bob Baxter: “A special Living History exclusive! The first-hand account of America’s master tattoo artist, Bert Grimm, the unparalleled storyteller, inventive genius and all-around king of hijinks from his niece and family historian Ms. CARMEN FORQUER, with insightful and often humorous commentary by C.W. Eldridge.”


Circus Historical Society
Yakima Valley Genealogical Society

Tattoo Archive Life & Times booklets can be purchased from the Tattoo Archive or the Book Mistress sites

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