Harry Lawson: Boston Tattooer

Before tattoo legend Harry Lawson (1872-1950) became a permanent fixture in Los Angeles, he plied needle-and-ink in cities throughout the country, including our beloved Boston. In 1914, Lawson joined veteran sideshow performer Frank Howard (1857-1925) at Howard’s deluxe tattoo studio and supply headquarters on Court Street in bustling Scollay Square. His stay there was brief, but memorable. 

Scroll down for a few pieces of rare ephemera related to Lawson's early career. 

 
 
 
 Frank Howard Business Card, ca. 1914. Courtesy of   www.LyleTuttle.com

Frank Howard Business Card, ca. 1914. Courtesy of www.LyleTuttle.com

 
 
 Harry Lawson's Arrest Notice, January 9, 1915

Harry Lawson's Arrest Notice, January 9, 1915

 
 Harry Lawson's Official Arrest Record (edited for readability), Suffolk County Crime Calendar, Jan. 10, 1915, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives

Harry Lawson's Official Arrest Record (edited for readability), Suffolk County Crime Calendar, Jan. 10, 1915, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives

 Summary of Harry Lawson's Court Case, 1915, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives

Summary of Harry Lawson's Court Case, 1915, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives

 

*For an account of Lawson's Boston heist, see The Life & Times: Frank and Annie Howard (A Tattoo Archive Publication, researched by Carmen Nyssen).