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NYC is the birthplace of modern American tattooing, our museum helps celebrate and preserve this history.
NYC is the birthplace of modern American tattooing, our museum helps celebrate and preserve this history.
364 backers pledged $36,111 to help bring this project to life.
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Daredevil Tattoo's NYC Museum of Tattoo History

$36,111

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Over 150 years ago a sailor named Martin Hildebrandt opened the first ever tattoo parlor in the United States. Hildebrandt's "atelier" was a few blocks southeast of the Bowery and Chatham Square where Samuel O'Reilly later patented the first electric tattoo machine and other Bowery legends, including Charlie Wagner worked until tattooing was banned in NYC in 1961.

New York City fostered the birth of modern tattooing. We want to build a resource for others to connect with that history through our collection of artifacts and documentation of the early roots of tattooing in NYC.

Brad Fink and Michelle Myles opened Daredevil Tattoo on the Lower East Side when tattooing was re-legalized in New York City in 1997. Brad has been collecting tattoo memorabilia for over 20 years and has amassed a collection with items including a Thomas Edison engraving pen (that the O'Reilly patent was based on) and original O'Reilly artwork. Last year Daredevil moved into a new larger location on Division Street a few blocks from Chatham Square and the Bowery. The new space incorporates Brad's collection into the tattoo shop for customers and visitors to enjoy. Michelle and Brad have been doing extensive archival research to document and map out the earliest New York tattooers in the Bowery area. We need your help to complete the work on the space and finish the display cases so the entire collection can be brought in and put on view. 

Small businesses are having a harder and harder time staying in place in New York City. After we were priced out of our old location with a 50% rent increase we chose our new location because we had the option to buy the storefront we moved into. In December last year we closed on a mortgage and bought the space making us the only shop in NYC to own the property we're in. We've managed to secure a forever home for our shop and the collection but we need help to finish a few more things. Getting to where we are now was the hardest thing we've ever accomplished but we feel we have something important to bring to the tattoo community and that we have something valid to contribute to the heritage of the Lower East Side.

NOTE: To pledge for multiple rewards, simply add the totals together for all rewards you would like to participate in, increase your pledge to cover all rewards you wish to back. When the project ends, you will be sent a survey, simply list the reward levels and quantity you pledged for.

NEW REWARDS ADDED! 

ORIGINAL Brad Fink ink and watercolor painting and more prints from Lara Scotton!
ORIGINAL Brad Fink ink and watercolor painting and more prints from Lara Scotton!
The torch will be printed in both black and white. The eagle will be printed on an off white shirt (beige or grey)
The torch will be printed in both black and white. The eagle will be printed on an off white shirt (beige or grey)

NEW REWARDS! 

$600 Daredevil Silver Card gets you past the line on Friday the 13th, includes Daredevil Support Pack, Prints and an hour of tattooing.

$800 Original painting by Michelle Myles plus Daredevil Support Pack, museum prints and map.

Original Watercolor by Michelle Myles. Published in FLASH The Art of the Mark II
Original Watercolor by Michelle Myles. Published in FLASH The Art of the Mark II

Dinner for 4 at your (Manhattan) apartment cooked by chef Aaron Sanchez of Chopped. 

Dinner for 8 at Stanton Social plus cocktail meet and greet with Chef Chris Santos of Chopped.

Longtime Daredevil associates, celebrity chefs Aaron Sanchez and Chris Santos are both offering special dinners for our top backers.
Longtime Daredevil associates, celebrity chefs Aaron Sanchez and Chris Santos are both offering special dinners for our top backers.

Risks and challenges

It's been an enormous undertaking building out the space and preparing all of the artwork. Everything is being framed with archival museum glass and vintage frames. We are both full time tattoo artists so it is challenging to run the business, set up the collection and keep up with our tattooing as well. We still have a lot of things on our punch list but are hoping the kickstarter project will give us the help we need to put everything in place so we can provide a great resource for our visitors to enjoy.

Breakdown of our costs:
Goal = $30,000
Kickstarter fees 5% + 3% (processing) = $2,400
Fulfillment cost + taxes (aproximate) $8,000 - $12,000
(Fulfillment cost will vary depending on rewards chosen and quantities ordered on some items.)

After all cost are deducted our total left will be aproximately $15,000-20,000

We need to pay for our share of a special assessment for repairs on our building. They are doing work on the facade and when the work is done we will be able to add signage out front. We are very anxious for the scaffolding to come down in front of our place but this assessment will cost us $10,000.

To hang our sign we need to pull permits, hire a licensed rigger and an architect. This project will cost us about $2,500

Our display cases, and the crushed penny machine will cost us about another $2,500 to finish.

STRETCH GOAL!!!!!!!
WE NEED A NEW HVAC UNIT. The heating/AC unit we have now is about 20 years old. It is horribly inefficient, crazy loud and needs frequent maintenance to keep it going. Any extra funds will go towards replacing that beast. The estimate we were given for a new unit is $15,000

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    THANK YOU!

    We will send you a thank you email and we will keep you updated on museum news if you would like to join our email list.

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    MUSEUM FAN PACK

    1 Museum Mug
    2 Tattoo Museum Stickers
    2 Daredevil Tattoo Stickers
    2 Support Buttons

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    40 backers
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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    NYC TATTOO MAP

    First prints of the "Early New York City Tattooing" map drawn by Michelle Myles that documents the tattooers working downtown on Chatham Square, the Bowery and in the Fourth Ward, dating as far back as 1859. This will be the first edition of the map. Printed on quality paper, signed by Michelle.
    If you would like more than one map just add the total to your pledge. Shipping will be combined.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    TATTOO MUSEUM PRINTS

    Choose from one of three prints from the museum collection. Available prints:
    -Never published, original Samuel O'Reilly design from his travel book circa late 1800's
    -Lady Liberty (unknown artist)
    -John Conway tattooing his wife Artfulette. John Conway was a student of O'Reilly and his wife exhibited as a tattooed lady.

    These are actual size giclee prints of the originals approximately 6x7 and 7x8 on archival cotton rag paper. If you would like more than one of the prints add the total to your pledge amount shipping will be combined. Please specify which prints you would like.

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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    T Shirt Pack

    Your choice of one Museum t-shirt or one Daredevil shirt plus stickers. Specify size and style/color.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    CHILLY PETE TATTOOED LIGHTER

    Bic lighter tattooed by hand by Chilly Pete. Choose either a mandala, a skull or a rose.
    +Daredevil Stickers

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    Limited 6 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    MUSEUM SUPPORT PACK

    1 Tattoo Museum t-shirt (black or white)
    or 1 Daredevil shirt.
    + Museum Fan Pack

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    46 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    DIEGO MANNINO MOTORCYCLE PRINT

    Signed print from the 2014 ITW Motorcycle Inspired Tattoo Flash book. Printed on watercolor paper
    +stickers

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    Limited 8 backers
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    Pledge US$ 80 or more About US$ 80

    DAREDEVIL SUPPORT PACK

    1 Museum t-shirt (black or White)
    1 Daredevil t-shirt
    + 1 Museum Fan Packs

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    34 backers
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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    LARA SCOTTON GEISHA PRINT SET

    Set of 4 signed geisha prints by Lara Scotton 10"x14". Printed on 140lb. hot press watercolor paper. Plus stickers.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    DAREDEVIL JACKET

    Everyone has been begging us to reprint these. These will only be available through the kickstarter project. Red Kap jackets, devil head on the back, embroidered devil logo on the front. Grey or green available. Specify size.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    DALE MAY PRINT

    11X16 print signed by photographer Dale May. This reward includes a Daredevil support pack and a NYC Tattoo Map.

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    2 backers
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    Pledge US$ 350 or more About US$ 350

    Sideshow banner

    A 4'x4' reproduction of 1950's J.Sigler tattooed lady sideshow banner printed on heavy canvas with grommets for hanging.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    NYC TATTOO HISTORY WALK

    This pack includes the O'Reilly print, the John Conway photo, the Lady Liberty print, plus a Daredevil support pack and the NYC Tattoo History map. This pack includes one hour of tattooing with Michelle Myles (preferably you pick from the flash in the collection) Michelle will take you on a walk past the former locations of the old downtown New York tattooers followed by lunch at Nom Wah Tea Parlor (the oldest NYC dim sum restaurant, or vegan dim sum at Budda Bodai is also an option). if you would like to go on the walk with a friend add $60 to the reward and they can come to lunch as well and we'll throw in an extra map for them so they don't get lost. (airfare/travel accommodations not included)

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    Pledge US$ 600 or more About US$ 600

    DAREDEVIL SILVER CARD

    Skip the line Friday the 13th
    Daredevil support pack
    Set of museum prints + map
    One hour of tattooing

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    Limited 1 backer
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    Pledge US$ 1,200 or more About US$ 1,200

    DAREDEVIL GOLD CARD

    The gold card gets you past the line on all Friday the 13th's and any other special tattoo days.
    -1 Daredevil Support pack
    -Personalized Daredevil jacket, with embroidered name
    -Set of NYC Museum prints + map
    -3 hours of tattooing

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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    Dinner for 4 at your house cooked by Aaron Sanchez. (minimum 40 days advance notice subject to chefs availability, within Manhattan, does not include staff gratuity)

    4 signed copies of Simple Food Big Flavor by Aaron Sanchez

    8 hours of tattooing, can be divided up between you and your guest (tattooing done at Daredevil Tattoo)
    4 Personalized Daredevil Jackets
    4 Daredevil or Tattoo museum t-shirts
    Museum Prints
    4 NYC Tattoo History Maps

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    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge US$ 80 or more About US$ 80

    LARA SCOTTON MONKEY PRINT

    19"x 13" signed print by Lara Scotton. Printed on 140lb. hot press watercolor paper. Plus stickers.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    ORIGINAL MINA AOKI DRAWING

    Drawing is 11x14 and a t-shirt pack is included!

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    Pledge US$ 650 or more About US$ 650

    ORIGINAL PAINTING BY MICHELLE MYLES

    12 X 20 Watercolor by Michelle Myles published in FLASH The Art of the Mark II.
    Reward includes:
    Daredevil Support Pack
    Set of museum prints + map

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    ORIGINAL BRAD FINK PAINTING

    Ink and watercolor devil painting. 22x30 Includes a Daredevil support pack.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    DINNER FOR 8 AT BEAUTY & ESSEX
    COCKTAILS WITH CHRIS SANTOS
    TATTOO TIME AND MUSEUM REWARDS

    Enjoy dinner for 8 at the Lower East Side's most glamorous restaurant, Beauty and Essex, complete with a private 30 minute meet and greet over cocktails in their Pearl Lounge with Celebrity Chef Chris Santos, a judge on Food Network's hit series Chopped.
    -reservations must be made Mon-Thurs, 30 days in advance and based on the Chef's availability.

    Reward also includes:
    -Private NYC Tattoo History Walk for you and your guests. We start the day with Donut Plant Donuts then Dim Sum lunch after the walk.
    -8 Museum Support packs for you and your guests
    -Personalized Daredevil jacket with embroidered name
    -Set of NYC Museum prints + Map
    -4 hours of tattooing can be shared with you and your friends. (Tattooing done at Daredevil)
    -staff gratuity not included

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Funding period

- (35 days)