Herschell Spillman was created in 1901 from
the former Armitage Herschell Co. and were based at Tonawanda, New York. They
made boilers for the better known Cagney Brothers of New York but also made
miniature locomotives in their own right, although more famous for
Although not certain when this locomotive was built, we believe it was supplied new to the New Zealand International Exhibition of 1906 where it
ran in the amusement park there. It was initially named "Puffing Billy”, then later "Joe Ward” after the prime minister of New Zealand when it ran in Coney Park, Nelson (shown in the last picture opposite).
It seems to have had a fairground career and was possibly re-boilered with a
riveted replacement in the 1950s.
Cagney locomotives are rare and have become increasingly collectable, yet Herschell Spillman remain virtually unknown in the miniature railway
world. The finish is slightly superior to Cagney with all cast steam and sand
dome covers. The cast iron cab is complete, the bell and its
carrier (inscribed "HS") are beautiful pieces of work. The smokebox has its original cast name
Tender bogies have been refurbished with new wheels - stretchers and side castings are original. The tank is a faithful copy of an original Armitage Herschell original which the owner borrowed for the project - the only concession to the 21st century being its fabrication in stainless steel (which we heartily applaud, using nothing else for water tanks on the engines we build ourselves).
Boiler still has a year to run on its 10 year hydraulic certificate dating from 2009; it was last steam-tested for an open day in 2012 since when the engine has been dry stored.
An interesting, historic locomotive - it could be got running with little effort, although it really merits a high quality restoration to produce a good example of an exceptionally rare engine.
||72 + 45
||est 1 ton
||1 x Penberthy
||n/a - pre-2002