The 1907 Cossar Press was designed by Thomas Cossar, the son of the proprietor of the Govan Press in Glasgow. Patented in 1903 by Payne and Son at Otley in Yorkshire, the first Cossar Press went to New Zealand in 1906 and the second went to Scotland in 1907. Thomas Cossar came up to oversee the installation at the Strathearn Herald in Crieff.
This webfed, flatbed, Letterpress Newspaper Press was the ideal solution to speed up production for newspapers with circulation too large for sheetfed, but too small to justify a rotary. The press effectively filled this niche market, and its use became widespread, with installations across the globe. There were several models of the Cossar Press built after the First World War, from 1920. This machinery played an important part in in the spread of information and as such is of both global and national interest. Several hundred were built right up until the late 1960’s.
The Press since 2011
In 2011, twenty years after the last print run, SPRAT (Scottish Printing Archival Trust) was asked to obtain a quote to move the press from Crieff to a warehouse in Glasgow.
In January 2012 the National Museum of Scotland (NMS) agreed to take the Cossar Press into the National Museum’s Collection. A great deal of skill was required to take it apart, clean it, service it and re-assemble it. Since December 2012 it has been waiting for its final move to Edinburgh.
The press is over a hundred years old and by 2016 will not have printed a newspaper for twenty five years.