|Death: ||Jul. 19, 1969|
William E. Jones was one of the most well known people historically in the tattoo industry. Better known historically in the tattoo community as "Jonesy".
Bill Jones was born in Wilkes-Barre PA in the year 1898, was a Veteran of WW-I and his obituary lists him as a U.S.Army Veteran. Bill Jones could have accepted a pension for his hearing loss from the military, however he declined, one might assume that he was not inclined to accept such charity when others had paid the ultimate sacrifice.
A well known tattooist "Sailor West", wrote in a letter to "The Tattoo Historian", that in the year of 1917, Bill Jones was working with the most famous and most photographed and publicized tattoo artist at the turn of the 20th century, Pof. Charles Wagner in New York City. There, Bill Jones worked building tattoo equipment for Wagner's tattoo supply business, this is where Bill Jones began his reputation as one of the best tattoo machine builders of all time. Bill Jones built the only machine with the reputation that "It's as if the color jumps into the skin", thus making the work easier for the operator and the time spent on the customer equally gratifying.
These machines demand upwards of 2500.00 today from collectors all over the world. The machines themselves are found all over the world and copied today by many distributors, supply houses and independent manufacturers.
Bill Jones was also an accomplished tattoo artist and skilled painter of tattoo designs, but preferred the area of the construction of tattoo equipment, casting machine frames from bronze and brass, wiring coils and constructing power supplies. His work was genius and legendary as, the dawn of the electromagnetic coils and the conversion of direct current and alternating current were in their budding years in the history of the United States. His creations were not just ground breaking improvements on the Edison points and coil effects in the science of electricity, but works of art in the beauty of the design and construction of the equipment.
Bill Jones worked in New York City and traversed until his move to and employ with Nicolas S. Picaro Tattoo Supplies (est. 1927) in Hartford CT., this would be in the years of 1949-50, and Bill worked building equipment for Picaro until Jones death on July 19th 1969 at the age of 70 years of age from heart failure.
To this day, all forms of William "Jonesy" Jones memorabilia are very sought after by collectors all over the globe, his combination of a kind, warm and generous human being and master machinist has never been surpassed by any other builder of tattoo equipment, it was his calling and he changed the field of the tattoo profession in such a way that it remains virtually unchanged from his creations to this day. Many, if not most, historical tattoo artists owe much of their reputation through his creations, as his machines alone were very much the Stradivarius of all machine designs.
Bill Jones has been the subject of many historical writings of the tattoo culture of the era, and much like a paintbrush that never wears out, his machines still apply art upon those who traverse the world today and most certainly for many generations to come.
May William "Jonesy" Jones Rest In Peace and his memory live on forever.
[submitted by James "Hawk" Hawk of Hawk's Tattoos est.1979]
Created by: James Hawk
Record added: Oct 24, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 43464469