Robert Cowan Smail

Robert Cowan Smail was the second son of Printing Works founder, Robert Smail.

Born in 1864 in Innerleithen, Robert Cowan was a very entrepreneurial man. He was responsible for expanding the business to include printing and publishing the local newspaper, The St. Ronan’s Standard, and offering unique products, like passenger tickets for people emigrating to South Africa, Canada and America. The names of these passengers were all neatly recorded by Smail’s and available for family history research.

Robert Cowan was a keen and accomplished photographer. As an active member of The Innerleithen Alpine Club, he often took official photographs of their excursions. This involved him carrying very heavy camera equipment up and down the hills and valleys on these long and arduous walks.