Stoney Knows How


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Stoney Knows How: Life as a Sideshow Tattoo Artist by Alan Governar

3rd Edition – Hardcover – Schiffer Publishing LTD – Jan 2023 – 208 pages

In this updated edition, the extraordinary life of Stoney St. Clair — circus performer turned tattoo artist — comes to life in photos, tattoo flash, and his own words.

Born Leonard St. Clair in 1912 in West Virgina, Stoney discovered his passion for drawing at John Hopkins, where he was being treated for rheumatoid arthritis. Not deterred by his disability, he joined the circus at 15 as a sword swallower and then learned tattooing from other circus performers. From traveling with the circus to setting up tattoo shops in Tampa and Columbus, Stoney met, tattooed, and worked with some of the greatest.


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