We recreated some of our favourite archive images and paintings to showcase postal fashion.

We’ve picked some favourite archive images and paintings from our collection featuring old postal uniforms from different eras. As we have replicas of these uniforms already in the museum all we needed was to find a few models volunteers to dress up and pose exactly as on the originals. Our Digitisation Studio then did their magic and recreated these new artworks in Photoshop.

Now have a look below at the pictures before and after.

Can you spot the difference?

Meet Mail Guard Extraordinary! James Moses Nobbs was the longest serving and the last of the Mail Coach Guards in the Royal Mail, serving 55 years (1836-1891) initially on the Mail Coaches and later on the railways in Travelling Post Offices. He was only 21 years old when he started. This watercolour, painted by H. E. Brown in c1890, shows him wearing a black top hat, a red coat with gold double buttons and black collar and cuffs.

Our Visitor Experience Host Warwick, posing on the right, would make the perfect Mail Coach Guard for the 21st Century, don’t you think?

Here you see a great example of postwomen’s uniforms in 1915. This black and white postcard showing a postwoman in a uniform and straw hat was photographed by A.R. Pickett & Sons and on the reverse has a handwritten message which reads: ‘With love & best wishes/ to your dear baby also Holly/ Mrs Worthingh’.

Our Venue Sales and Events Coordinator Fiona perfectly captures the character on the image on the right.

This portrait oil painting by Thomas Patterson (on the left) was created in 1900 – 1912. The postman is believed to be a real postal worker Alex Buchanan from Troon from Ayrshire. It shows him outside a door, looking through the letters in his hands. He wears a blue uniform with red piping, gold buttons and a red collar bearing a gold design. Alex also has a blue cap on with a gold cap badge and wears a brown postbag over the shoulder.

You must be thinking Alex travelled to the future for this photoshoot but a model on the right is actually our Head of Communications Harry. What a lookalike!

This black and white archive image shows a postwoman with a mailbag delivering letters in bomb damaged streets in 1942. On the right, our Assistant Curator (Philately) Georgina is modelling a replica of the same uniform.

Two postwomen in their Camerons

Did you know that the first postwoman to request trousers was Jean Cameron? 19-year-old Jean became something of a celebrity after her call for trousers was made. Postwomen’s trousers became known as ‘Camerons’ in reference to their pioneer. By 1943 14,000 pairs of trousers were issued. Read her story here.

Fancy being a Mail Coach Guard, postwoman or boy messenger?  Head to our Museum Exhibition, dress up, strike a pose and take a selfie!

Share your selfies from our Museum Exhibitions today with a hashtag #MuseumSelfieDay. We’re on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

– The Postal Museum Marketing Team