Shorty Schultz: Tattooed by William Grimshaw and Bert Grimm

Researched and written by Derin Bray

 
Clarence “Shorty” Schultz, tattooed by Prof. William Grimshaw, Chicago, ca. 1919.   Collection of Derin Bray

Clarence “Shorty” Schultz, tattooed by Prof. William Grimshaw, Chicago, ca. 1919. Collection of Derin Bray

 

In 1918, still reeling from a tumultuous divorce, Clarence “Shorty” Schultz (1891-1935) quit his foundry job in Davenport, Iowa and made his way to Chicago for a fresh start in life. He soon found himself in the capable hands of Professor William Grimshaw, a seasoned tattoo artist who was happy to set Schultz on a new path.  And So, from his winter headquarters in a South State Street arcade, Grimshaw covered his new canvas in fashionable designs.

 
Quad-City Times , Davenport, Iowa, April 5 1918.

Quad-City Times, Davenport, Iowa, April 5 1918.

 
 
Shorty Schultz, tattooed by Prof. William Grimshaw, Chicago, ca. 1919.   Collection of Derin Bray

Shorty Schultz, tattooed by Prof. William Grimshaw, Chicago, ca. 1919. Collection of Derin Bray

 

By the winter of 1919, Schultz had retuned to Iowa to open the American Shining Parlor at 212 Harrison Street in downtown Davenport. In addition to shoe shines and hat cleanings, customers availed themselves of his service as “the only professional electric tattoo artist in the tri-cities.”

 
Quad-City Times , Davenport, Iowa, May 2, 1919.

Quad-City Times, Davenport, Iowa, May 2, 1919.

 

This motley venture didn’t last long. By the summer of 1920, Schultz was out of the shoe shine business and trouping with T. A. Wolfe’s Superior Shows as The Tattooed Marvel. At the end of a short six-week season he returned to Chicago to join “old friends” at Ward Burton’s arcade at 434 South State Street. Relative newcomer Bert Grimm was likely one of those friends. He too worked at Burton’s arcade during the wintertime and had helped complete Schultz suit.

 
Billboard , Sept. 25, 1920.

Billboard, Sept. 25, 1920.

 

But Shorty Schultz’ foray into electric tattooing was short lived. That October he remarried his ex-wife in Chicago; they eventually made their way back to Davenport, where Schultz resumed work as a core maker for the Davenport Machine & Foundry Company. He seems to have retired from tattooing at this time, but his colleagues in Chicago remembered him well. In 1925, his former employer at Burton’s arcade advertised for a first-class tattooer; he asked for Schultz (and Grimm) by name.

 
Billboard , April 18, 1925.

Billboard, April 18, 1925.

 
Derin Bray