Cossar Flat-Bed Web Press

Thanks to David Philips for sending in these pictures of a historical press from Scotland, UK.

Cossar press

FROM the Strathearn Herald, Saturday July 6, 1907.

Since the inception of the Strathearn Herald in 1856, several changes have taken place in the machine-room, all with a view to a speedier production of this journal.

In its earlier years the Herald was printed on a hand-press, which entailed much hard manual labour, with a very low output per hour.

After a time a cylinder machine, driven by manual labour, was introduced, this in turn giving way to another old-fashioned cylinder machine with a speed of some 600 per hour.

A step towards faster printing was gained by the installation of a single-feeder machine of the Wharfdale type, printing from 1000 to 1200 sheets per hour, on one side only, which has done good services for about 20 years.

An increasing circulation, together with pressure on our space at certain times of the year, has again necessitated greater speed and a larger machine, and accordingly we placed an order for a new press, capable of producing the Herald at a high speed, with a minimum of labour, with Messrs Payne & Sons, Atlas Works, Otley, the well-known printers’ engineers.

With this issue the paper is printed for the first time on the “COSSAR” PRESS, of which an illustration is given above.

This machine — so named after its patentee, a young Scotsman, with a genius for mechanics, Mr T Cossar, Govan Press — is of the flat-bed type, and has been designed to fill up the gap between single or two-feeders and the rotary machine, and embodies the latest improvements in printing off a flat bed of type, and with a roll of paper instead of cut sheets.

The paper after being printed is cut off the reel, folded and delivered ready for sale at a speed of 4000 to 5000 per hour.

If necessary, we can extend the size of the paper so as to give us about 24 columns more space.

The various parts of the press, numbering several thousands, and weighing in all over ten tons, have been most expeditiously put together in our premises by the makers’ representatives — Messrs T Searr, F Paley, and W Bennett — and on Thursday and yesterday satisfactory trials were made under the superintendence of Mr Cossar.

As indicating the steadiness and entire absence of vibration with which this machine runs, a penny-piece may be balanced on edge on the side frame, while the press is running a full speed.

We need only add that we will be very pleased to show the machine to any of our readers interested.

Cossar press
The machine in action at the Strathearn Herald, Crieff, Scotland, UK, before it was retired from production in 1991 due to the introduction of offset.

Cossar press

The final run of this magnificent press in March 1991.

One thought on “Cossar Flat-Bed Web Press”

    At the Printing Museum in New Zealand we have 2 of the later models of this machine.
    We understand that there are only 3 left in the world.
    The 2 in New Zealand are currently in a storage facility, the rent of which is kindly paid for by a 3rd party.
    We now have been told that they will have to be moved within the next few months as the lease is up on the building.

    We do not have the funding of the ability to move these 2 presses.
    It looks like 2 of the last 3 surviving Cossar Presses will be destined for the scrap heap.

    As our museum is also currently in a storage facility waiting on a move to a more permanent site, even recovering the machines into containers is not a viable option – SAD BUT TRUE.

    John Nixon
    President, the Printing Museum

Have your say . . .

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.