"Seaside Sketches" by cartoonist Arthur Gill

Typical seaside Edwardian postcard by cartoonist Arthur Gill. Humourous or comic postcards became very popular especially after the Great War, partly because they were so colourful. The jokes on the cards could often be quite risqué, with partial nudity and double entendres commonplace.

Postcards were invented in Austria in 1869 and quickly became popular. A year later they were issued in Britain by the Post Office, but many people were opposed to the use of postcards. They felt that it would be too easy to read other people’s correspondence, that the art of letter writing would decrease, and that it promoted loose morals. However, postcards were an extremely easy and fast method of communication and were taken up by businesses. In the first year of use the number of postcards sent was 75 million.

Postcards were also an excellent way to share a joke.

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