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 Post subject: Cagney locomotives for industry
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 850
I recently found this quote about Cagney:

The locomotives were well adapted for industrial purposes, where ordinary locomotives were unsuitable or too expensive. Logging railroads of the Miniature Railway Co. were in use in the southern Atlantic and Gulf states, the northern lake districts and on the Pacific coast.

Their miniature 4-4-0's would be useless for this service so what is the story?


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 Post subject: Re: Cagney locomotives for industry
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:56 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
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Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies / PNW
I too would like to know more. A rather extensive catalog of small industrial and narrow gauge steam locomotives was published in the early 1900s. This was reproduced in "Cagney's Locomotive Works" by Plateway Press (1998). Eight pages detail and show the locomotives, and they are clearly Porter locomotives (down to the shape of the Porter builders plate on the smokebox). Another page was printed in Spanish for publication in South and Central America markets.

Is it possible that Cagney was a distributor/marketer for Porter products?


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 Post subject: Re: Cagney locomotives for industry
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:05 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 850
Your mention of Porter jogged a memory. In 1968 I was active at the Pine Creek RR and their watchman told me that he had worked for Cagney and that they had sold Porter locomotives. It would make sense for Cagney to act as an agent and take a percentage rather than tell a potential customer that they didn't make what he wanted.


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 Post subject: Re: Cagney locomotives for industry
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 10:13 pm
Posts: 350
Location: Metropolis
o anderson wrote:
Is it possible that Cagney was a distributor/marketer for Porter products?


This was always my understanding. The Cagney Bros. were marketers more than anything else. Even the miniature stuff was in actuality built by a third party, the McGarigle Machine Company, who manufactured near-identical locomotives for Herschell Spillman and Armitage-Herschell (two distinct entities helmed by Buffalo-area amusement king Allan Herschell). IIRC, it wasn't until the 20s that the Cagneys and McGarigles merged into a single entity, long past their best-known output.

_________________
"Buy the ticket, take the ride." -Hunter S. Thompson


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 Post subject: Re: Cagney locomotives for industry
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:52 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 12:20 pm
Posts: 163
Ed Kelley wrote:
o anderson wrote:
Is it possible that Cagney was a distributor/marketer for Porter products?


IIRC, it wasn't until the 20s that the Cagneys and McGarigles merged into a single entity, long past their best-known output.


Actually that is a bit backwards. Timothy Cagney was related by marriage to the McGarigles. In 1905 there was a split and the McGarigles continued to build for the Herschell’s, and Timothy Cagney took the patterns and tooling for the heavier remodeled Class D and Class E (22inch gauge) 4-4-0s to Jersey City NJ where they then built locomotives themselves.

Keith


Last edited by LVRR2095 on Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cagney locomotives for industry
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:05 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:18 am
Posts: 264
I've been researching and writing about Cagney Brothers for about seven years now, and I've found zero - zero - actual proof that any of their products were used outside of the entertainment industry.

What is true is that Cagney marketed their locomotives, especially the big 22" 4-4-0 they developed in 1903-04, for farming and mining use, but there is no hard evidence that any of their products were used in such a manner. No stories, photos, or contemporary accounts have come to light. There one bit of evidence: an article that ran in the Cleveland Leader in April 1904 just before the firm's miniature railroad opened at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. In the piece, David H. Cagney implies that Cagney engines were being used to haul sisal in the Yucatan, however, if you read the story Very carefully he never actually says that Cagney trains are doing the work, only that the Yucatan "has found a need for them." Elsewhere in the article, he talks about locomotives "which will be sent" to Central and South America. He is correct that several trains with track and equipment had been sent to South America, but these few trains were used in parks to haul passengers.

Since the Cagney's were known to bend the truth from time to time (well...frequently), the information from the article is suspect at best. The story was picked up by several newspapers (the clipping below is from the May 1, 1904, Minneapolis Star Tribune). Knowing what I know know now about the firm, I think that if it were true that Cagney 4-4-0s were hauling freight in Mexico and Brazil in 1904, Cagney Brothers would have been the first to put a photo in their brochure, and would have shouted the news from every rooftop in Jersey City.

As for the Porter engines that appear in the Cagney Bros. catalog, I've uncovered no evidence to suggest they had a contract with Porter to sell their locomotives, nor did the McGarigle's rebuild anything larger than their own 15" gauge 4-4-0 locomotives (and perhaps a 22" gauge Class E). I think that the industrial locomotive line must have been wishful thinking. The Cagney's simply doctored some photos with their name, placed the photos in the catalog, and waited for someone to buy one. I wonder what they would have done if someone had actually placed an order!

Jeff Terry


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Star_Tribune_Sun__May_1__1904_.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Cagney locomotives for industry
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:11 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:18 am
Posts: 264
John T wrote:
Your mention of Porter jogged a memory. In 1968 I was active at the Pine Creek RR and their watchman told me that he had worked for Cagney and that they had sold Porter locomotives. It would make sense for Cagney to act as an agent and take a percentage rather than tell a potential customer that they didn't make what he wanted.


That would have been Bob Parr, who had once worked for Cagney Brothers. He sounds like he was a wonderful person to get to know, and had lots of stories about the shenanigans that went on behind the scenes at some of the railroads he operated for the Cagney's, especially those he ran at World's Fairs. Perhaps Keith will tell us a bit more about the man.


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 Post subject: Re: Cagney locomotives for industry
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:57 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 850
What got me started on Cagney was researching the miniature railroads of Seattle.

Miniature railroads in Seattle date back to at least 1903. In May of that year James L. Shute applied to the City Council for permission to build his 15 inch gauge railway along Lake Washington from Madrona Park to Leschi Park. This caused a huge outcry about removing trees and blocking access to the lake. After all that it came down to the fact that the locals did not want the railroad (early 20th century NIMBYism). Despite all that the council approved the measure on July 27th and the line, or part of it, was built. Shute incorporated his road as The Great Northern Miniature Railway Company on July 8, 1903 with a capitol of $5000. The train consisted of a Cagney Brothers 4-4-0 locomotive and three cars. In late August Shute ran his train at the Woodsmen of the World Carnival held downtown at the corner of Third and Union. The Lake Washington operation must not have been very profitable because Shute surrendered his franchise in January 1904. Another project involving Shute was a 22 inch gauge line from the West Seattle ferry landing to Alki Point, proposed in December 1903. In 1908 this plan was dropped in favor of a trolley line.

The locomotive to be used on the 22” gauge line was described as: 4-4-0 with a wagon top boiler, 2 00 Korting injectors and a feedwater pump; 15” drivers, 1600 pounds on drivers, total weight 2000 pounds. I believe this would have been a Cagney Model E.


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 Post subject: Re: Cagney locomotives for industry
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:32 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:48 pm
Posts: 100
The Cagney's built the Gimbel's trains for the 1938 NY Worlds Fair. The locomotives were 36" gauge Vulcan gas mechanical with a streamlined sheet metal body. There were at least three of these built, two train sets and three locomotives eventually wound up at Kennywood Park. The park recently built a Thomas Town and attempted to use one of the Vulcans as the basis of Thomas. The overlay is top heavy and has caused some serious tracking problems. They have resorted to using one of the original outline locomotives while they try to come up with a solution. IMHO they just should have bought a Thomas new instead of trying to modify the Vulcans.


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 Post subject: Re: Cagney locomotives for industry
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:05 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 12:20 pm
Posts: 163
Jeff Terry wrote:

That would have been Bob Parr, who had once worked for Cagney Brothers. He sounds like he was a wonderful person to get to know, and had lots of stories about the shenanigans that went on behind the scenes at some of the railroads he operated for the Cagney's, especially those he ran at World's Fairs. Perhaps Keith will tell us a bit more about the man.

Bob Parr was a great old guy and a lot more than just a “watchman.” At the time of his passing he was building a 15” gauge Hudson!
That is Bob standing to the left of the 15” Cagney

Keith


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File comment: Bob Parr at Point Pleasant Beach, NJ running a Cagney for Mrs. Lillian Cagney
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