10 amazing Punch magazine sketches from 1859 to 1981

Since 2014, famous satirical magazine Punch is now available to browse online: the complete run of Punch from 1841 to 1992 has been uploaded to a fully searchable digital archive. Highlights include the comic works of William Thackeray and PG Wodehouse; full-page political cartoons by Alice in Wonderland illustrator John Tenniel and Winnie the Pooh artist EH Shepard, and Punch’s famous parliamentary sketches

(Copyright Punch Limited)

In 2014, the complete run of Punch from 1841 to 1992 was uploaded to a fully searchable digital archive. Highlights include the comic works of William Thackeray and PG Wodehouse; full-page political cartoons by Alice in Wonderland illustrator John Tenniel and Winnie the Pooh artist E H Shepard, and Punch’s famous parliamentary sketches.

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Users can search the archive or quickly browse an issue, before zooming in or cropping images that can then be saved, printed, bookmarked or shared via email. The archive also boasts commissioned essays by scholars that provide social and historical context.

Andre Gailani of Punch said: “Punch magazine is an encyclopedia of the English psyche. From the British Empire to the Great War and WW2, up to our post-modern era, it captures the spirit of the times with humour and soul. Now fully digitised, conducting specific research or just browsing is a revelation.”

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To find out more, visit The Punch Historical Archive, 1841–1992.

Punch cartoon illustrating the London bathing season
Punch comments on the polluted and smelly state of the dirty River Thames. (Copyright Punch Limited)
Punch cartoon depicting the The Anglo-Zulu War
The Anglo-Zulu War. John Bull learns a lesson from his erstwhile opponent in South Africa to ‘Despise not your Enemy’. (Copyright Punch Limited)
Punch cartoon depicting St Paul's Cathedral
A vision of London with St Paul’s Cathedral dominated by unregulated advertising. (Copyright Punch Limited)
Punch cartoon depicting suffragette campaign
Punch recorded the progress of the suffragettes’ campaigns for the women’s franchise. (Copyright Punch Limited)
Punch cartoon depicting a tired solder in the trenches of the Western Front
A weary Tommy in the trenches of the Western Front. (Copyright Punch Limited)
Punch cartoon depicting the spread of suburbia and motorised vehicles
With the ever increasing use of motorised vehicles after the First World War and the spread of suburbia, traditional rural England was ‘under threat’. (Copyright Punch Limited)
Punch cartoon depicting FD Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin
The Big Three Allies – Franklin D Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin – decide the fate of Adolf Hitler. (Copyright Punch Limited)
Punch cartoon depicting the Cold War
As the Telstar I satellite is launched (during the Cold War), Punch hopes for improved communications between US president John F Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. (Copyright Punch Limited)
Punch cartoon depicting postwar immigration to Britain
Postwar immigration to Britain. (Copyright Punch Limited)
Punch cartoon depicting changes in family life
Changes in family life. (Copyright Punch Limited)