Maud Wagner 1877-1961. In 1900, tattooing was rarely seen in public except in circus sideshows. While a merchant seaman, Gus Wagner met tribesmen in Borneo & Java who taught him traditional tattooing. After covering his body with illustrations he promoted himself in traveling sideshows & circuses. At the St. Louis Worlds Fair (1904) he met & married Maud Stevens, a circus performer, who became one of the first female tattooists in the US.