Locomotive 'Puffing Billy'. Driving wheel diameter 3 feet 3 inches; cylinders 9 inches x 36 inches; working pressure 50lb; weight approximately 8 tons, exclusive of tender.
Puffing Billy is the world’s oldest surviving steam locomotive.
Dating to 1813-1814, it was built by William Hedley, Jonathan Forster, and Timothy Hackworth, for use at the Wylam Colliery near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
Built to replace the horses used on the tramway, Puffing Billy was one of three engines built by Hedley, the resident engineer at the colliery. It remained in service at the colliery until 1862, when it was lent to the Patent Office Museum in South Kensington, which became the Science Museum. The Museum later bought the locomotive.
It has been suggested that the colloquialisms “puffing like Billy-o” and “running like Billy-o” came from the locomotive’s name.