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Student Showcase Archive
Show RCA 2019

Rosemary Byford

Show RCA work

  • Postcard producer Bamforth's production process

    Postcard producer Bamforth's production process, The British Manufacturing, Art, and Fancy Stationer 31 January 1906

  • Examples of humorous Edwardian postcards of domestic life (circa 1910)

    Examples of humorous Edwardian postcards of domestic life (circa 1910), producer unknown

  • Examples of humorous Edwardian seaside postcards (circa 1910)

    Examples of humorous Edwardian seaside postcards (circa 1910), in the archives at the Blackpool Local History Centre


In the Bluff: Humour in British Picture Postcards 1894-1914

Objects that have been visibly customised have a lasting imprint that provide the design historian with a fantastic insight into how an object has been used and, in turn, a glimpse in to how people and society have operated. My research has included the examination of Victorian jewellery expertly adapted from sentimental family heirlooms, through to cheap, mass-produced postcards which are meant to be customised by the sender when they add a personal message. 

My dissertation investigates how the humour and design of Edwardian picture postcards influenced communication, and how the senders of the humorous postcards customised them. The informality of the picture postcard and the messages they contain are a great way to get a glimpse in to the everyday experience of a past era – and humorous picture postcards provide a particularly informal medium to examine everyday life. Humorous postcards invited individuals to reveal their informal, playful side by interacting with and personalising the joke.


  • A design historian with a background in public policy. My interests are in how objects are used, customised and reused.
  • Previous degrees

  • BEng (Hons) Textile Manufacture with Clothing Studies, University of Huddersfield
  • Publications

  • More Than Meets the Eye – Repurposed Hungarian Buttons at the V&A, in Jewellery History Today, Autumn 2018, p.8
Royal College of Art