Early Years/Move to Windsor

Queenie Halford Meakin was born in Pool in Wharfedale, Yorkshire, England on April 22, 1912. She received her early education in England and on continental Europe, and was fluent in both French and Italian. In 1929, she married Dr. Frederick Shirley (a.k.a. Shurley), who was a chemist and over 20 years her senior.

For the next few years, Frederick and Queenie travelled quite extensively in North America.  Frederick was also working and doing research in the printing field. In 1931, he filed for his first U.S. patent. It seems likely that Queenie was assisting him right from the beginning, and in 1935, they applied for their first joint U.S. patent: Printing machine for impenetrable surfaces (US2060385A).

In 1936, they settled in Windsor, Ontario, and Frederick Shirley was working as the manager at Ceramic Machinery Distributors and then Guthrie Ceramic Labelling and Machinery Company, both located at 424 Pitt Street West. By 1940, the couple had bought a house at 1568 Victoria Avenue.