"Felix McGlennon Ltd"

"Shamrock & Co"

"Humorous Art Studies"

In 1906 Felix McGlennon established the company "Shamrock & Co" at 5 Lovells Court, Paternoster Row, and applied for a trademark showing a Shamrock. In October 1908 the trademark was refused, after a court case, in which it was claimed that the use of a shamrock improperly suggested the cards were made in Ireland (see below). From about 1910 cards were published by Felix McGlennon Ltd. "Incorporating Shamrock & Co"

The company is of interest because it was one of the first to publish cards signed by Fred Spurgin. and because it was situated in Paternoster Row, at the heart of the London post card publishing district, where many of Fred Spurgin's cards were published.

"Lace-edged" Romantic Scenes by Fred Spurgin

An Inspiration

Signed Frederick Spurgin

30 September 1910

McGlennon/Shamrock back Series 303


An Inspiration

Signed Frederick Spurgin

Series 1360 Printed in Saxony

Plain back - no publisher name


Where Ignorance is Bliss

Unsigned  10 August 1910

Series 1360 Printed in Saxony

Plain back - no publisher name


The above card has the same 1390 back and is almost certainly also by Fred Spurgn as it is in the same set and stylistically very similar..

It seems likely that these were published as a set of six.

In the cards produced by "Fred Stone" and "F S" up to 1907 there were no post cards of individual children. After 1910 Fred Spurgin regularly produced quality cards showing children. There appears to be a series of unsigned card sets - including the Kute Kiddies series published by Inter Art andthe Infantastic Series by Watkins & Kracke and the Humorous Art Series (below). Then came signed sets in the Paternoster Series (Avenue Publishing) and then various children series published by Inter-Art. This has been considered in detail on the page Round faced children cards which argues that the following cards are by Fred Spurgin.

Humorous Art Series attributed to Fred Spurgin


Giving The Girls A Treat

Rival Blues

Humorous Art Studies


Shamrock & Co., London, EC

Humorous Art Studies

Printed in England



Presumably a set of 12 cards.

Funny, Ain't It

P. T. O.

I Wish I Could Talk Like Daddy

Did I Fall or Was I Pushed

March 1910

Bad Conduct Marks



You Must

Go on, Suck!

July 1910

Humorous Art Studies  Series No 2

Felix McGlennon Ltd. Incorporating Shamrock & Co., London, EC       Printed in England        Unsigned

Cheeky Girl

Were you with me last night?

September 1910

An early crop

His First Pair

Shan't Play !

I wonder what father uses this for.

9 July 1910

Would you like one of these?


You can't do this girls


Fly with me darling

Lady Audley's Secret


Fashionable Ladies Series - artist unknown

"Excuse me not shaking hands, Dear. My braces have broken down."

Series 397.


The Harem scare 'em girl.

Series 397


"Hi Miss! Your trowsis is a-coming down."

Series 397

If the above children pictures are by Fred Spurgin, might these unsigned cards also be by Fred Spurgin - anticipating the Harem series?  The young lad on the right would not be out of place on an "F S" card. However this is probably a case where the identity of the artist remains uncertain,

Some other Felix McGlennon Ltd. cards

Thinking of you at Broadstairs

Series 356

Christmas Greeting

A simple greeting   A Wish sincere

A merry Christmas   A glad new year.

December 1910

If I should plant a tiny seed of love

I'm only a little girl but I've been sent with a with to you.

May your Birthday be as bright as me and I hope that my wish comes true.

Series 332

Fancy the fools putting tar in a milk can. Now look at me.

Signed Syd

Series 411

I am admiring the beauties at Margate

LC 26

September 1910

I was taking a girl home last night at Southsea

LC 14

From The British Newspaper Archive

  re McGlennon's Application for Registration of "Shamrock.”

This was an application by way of appeal from the Registrar of Trade Marks. It was made by a person who carried on business in London under the firm name of "Shamrock and Co.," as printer and publisher of pictorial postcards, for the registration of his trade mark, consisting of a device of a shamrock with its stalk so twisted as to represent "& Co.” It was opposed by an association for the development of Irish industries, onthe ground that, if the shamrock was registered and used as a trade mark, it would be calculated to deceive purchasers into the belief that the goods were Irish origin when, in fact, they were not.

Mr. Warwick Draper, Mr, Walter. K C., and Mr. Maugham, and Mr. Sergant represented the parties concerned.

Mr. Warwick Draper, for the applicant, contended that the design in question was merely name of "Shamrock and Co.” in which the applicant had for 2 1/2 years, traded :and sold 2,000,000 cards, in a special or pictorial form. It was suggested that the use of the design would lead people to think that the goods were made in Ireland. On the same showing aman might, if that were so, when trading as Rose and Co. in Ireland, he prevented from using a rose as the trade mark, because the rose was the English emblem. A shamrock. as a pretty floral device, simply meant good luck, all the world over, and did not necessarily imply anything to do with Ireland.

Mr. Walter and Mr. Maugham, for the opposing association, contended that the shamrock had come to denote connexion with Ireland. and. if used as a mark on goods not Irish, it would be calculated to deceive.

Mr. .Sargant. for the Registrar, took no part in the argument.

Mr. Justice Warrington said the application was substantially for the registration of a device of a shamrock upon postcards. The simple and short point was whether the use of that mark would be calculated to deceive. The evidence, in his: opinion, established that its use would suggest to a person buying the goods that they were Irish goods—that the use of a shamrock, not as mere decoration, but as a. distinctive mark. indicated that the thing in respect of which it was used was Irish, or some way connected with Ireland. No one seeing a soldier with a shamrock in his collar would doubt that he belonged to an Irish regiment. So, too, the shamrock was used, in connection with the rose and thistle, in a design of the Royal Arms, because it was the emblem of Ireland. If, used in a decorative design, it was emblematic of Ireland, much more was it so if used as trade mark to distinguish the goods of the person using it from those of another; the inference in such a case to a purchaser must be that they were Irish goods. If that were so and the goods were not Irish, the mark was calculated to deceive. The postcards at issue' in the present case were made, not in Ireland, but either in England or abroad. It was said the applicant made it clear that they were not Irish, by printing upon them such words as “Printed in England" or “Printed in Saxony.” The answer was that that was not point, for it was the trade mark which would conspicuous. and suggest the cards came from Ireland . and it was not enough, to counteract that, to say where they were printed. All the Court. had to do was to say whether under section 11 of the Trade Marks Act 1905, the mark was “calculated to deceive,'’ and. in his lordship’s judgment, it was, and the application must be refused.

CORK EXAMINER 9 November 1908