Deborah Jaffé
Text & images © Deborah Jaffé 2011
Site design © Alice Krelle 2011
Deborah Jaffé is an author, cultural and design historian, and painter.
Souvenir Teapot
Wet Beach at Weston
Velvet underglaze on earthernware
Deborah Jaffé 2014

She has special interests in the history of industrial design, technology and innovation; childhood, play and toys; memory studies and souvenirs. Her published books include Ingenious Women, The History of Toys and Victoria - a celebration. She also writes company histories, undertakes specialist research projects and is the editor of Links, for Newcomen, the International Society for the History of Engineering and Technology.

Current research interests include:
The history of souvenirs
Innovative women
Industrial design and the Cold War
Relationships between design & engineering professionals
Toys, childhood and play

Deborah is a collector of 20th century ceramics, which include over 300 seaside souvenirs as well as English jugs and vases. Deborah is making responses to the souvenir collection in ceramics. Wet Beach at Weston, above, is one of many

Deborah is always interested in ideas and new research and work possibilities. Please feel free to contact her.

Latest News

Posted on 02.06.16
The life of 19th century inventor Sarah Guppy 02 June 2016
Listen to Deborah discuss the inventions of the ingenious Sarah Guppy on Today, BBC Radio 4 here.

Posted on 02.02.15
WOW (Women of the World Festival) 8 March 2015
Deborah will be a guest speaker on Ingenious Women at the WOW Festival at the University of Cambridge. Further information here.

Frank Hornby and Meccano 21 April 2015 (Portsmouth) - 2 Dec 2015 (Birmingham)
Following the successful talk she gave at MOSI in Manchester last year, Deborah will again speak about the entrepreneurial Frank Hornby at Newcomen Branches in Portsmouth (21 April) and Birmingham ( 2 December). Further information here.

Newcomen Links
Details of issues 229, 230, 231 & 232 can be found here.

Posted on 04.03.14
Memories of the Future Conference 2-3 May 2014
Booking is now open and the provisional programme available for this exciting conference to be held jointly by UAL at Chelsea and the Centre for Cultural memory, University of London. Deborah is a member of the organising committee. More information here.

WSRN - Revealing Lives Conference 22-23 May 2014
Deborah will give a paper on Women and Patents at the Women in Science Research Network Conference, Revealing Lives, at The Royal Society, London, on 22nd & 23rd May 2014. The conference programme is available here.

Newcomen Links
The December edition of Newcomen Links, No. 228, designed and edited by Deborah, is now available. For more information, please visit the Newcomen website.
Links Vol. 228

Posted on 25.11.13
Women's Hour
Listen to Deborah discussing inventions for women with Jenni Murray on Woman's Hour (BBC Radio 4) on 22 November, on BBC iPlayer here.

Posted on 21.10.13
Memories of the Future Conference 2-3 May 2014
This conference is to be held jointly at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London and Chelsea College of Art and Design, UAL. Even though views of the past have become forcefully questioned by new technologies, the past is still a reservoir, repository and treasure-trove of cultural and symbolic signification, which continues to be revisited and reconstructed imaginatively by individuals and communities. The conference will address questions such as: is memory scrambled, reversed, reconstituted? Is the future a thing of the past? Is 'no future' the new future?

It will cover a broad range of subjects including utopian and dystopian visions, legend, fantasy, science fiction science, engineering, technology, art and design. Deborah is on the conference steering committee and is very involved in its planning.

Click here to download the call for papers.

Posted on 16.10.13
Newcomen Links
The June and October editions of Newcomen Links, Nos. 226 & 227, designed and edited by Deborah, are now available. For more information, please visit the Newcomen website.
Links Vol. 226 Links Vol. 227

Posted on 03.04.13
History of Play Drama Project
The Stage has published an article on the joint project between the V&A Museum of Childhood and the Cardboard Citizens and Chickenshed theatre companies, for which Deborah is the History of Play advisor. Read the article online here.

Posted on 19.03.13
The March edition of Newcomen Links, No. 225, designed and edited by Deborah, is now available. For more information, please visit the Newcomen website.
Links Vol. 225

Posted on 11.03.13
Waiting for Spring
Waiting For Spring I Some pieces from Deborah's new series of paintings, Waiting for Spring, can now be found on the Art page.
Waiting For Spring I, 2003

Posted on 11.03.13
History of Play Advisor
Deborah is the History of Play Advisor to the Heritage of Violence in Play Project. This is a joint project between the V&A Museum of Childhood and the Act Now/Cardboard Citizens and Chickenshed theatre companies. It is an exciting and fascinating venture which will culminate in a site specific performance. More will be revealed in the weeks to come.

Posted on 22.01.13
Memory + Souvenirs
Dartmoor Prison Souvenir Vase Deborah has written a piece on 'sinister souvenirs', such as this ceramic vase featuring Dartmoor Prison. To read the piece, visit the new Sinister Souvenirs page.
Souvenir of the Prison Gate, Princetown (Dartmoor Prison)

Read the news archive here.