This scatterplot with a trend line shows the percentage of tattoo subjects accounted for by the category of names and initials over time. Each dot represents the percentage figure for each year, and the blue trend line documents the overall trend; the significant variation in the dots in some years reflects the relatively small number of tattoo records we have for those years. The grey band shows the 95% confidence interval around the trend line; we can be 95% certain that the true mean lies within this range. Between 1820 and 1870 the proportion of tattoos worn by convicts which were names or initials increased gradually, but from the mid 1870s this proportion declined over time. Whereas names and initials accounted for about 40 per cent of tattoo subjects between 1820 and 1880, by the early twentieth century names and initials accounted for less than a quarter of all tattoos. This reflects the growing popularity of other types of tattoos.
Credit: Sharon Howard
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