Nora Hildebrandt

I hear this story on an episode of QI (series N, episode “Naval Navigation”).


Nora Hildebrandt was America’s very first professional tattooed lady (that we know about, anyway). She had 365 separate tattoos, and she claimed that she received them after she was captured by Sitting Bull and his tribe, who tied her to a tree and gave her a new tattoo every day for a year.

In reality, her dad was a tattoo artist and gave her all of the tattoos as a way of promoting his business. I suppose like a living design book. I sincerely hope he also gave her the tattoos because she wanted them.

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