Hercules Engine News

Jaeger Machine Co.

Jaeger-branded Hercules

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The Jaeger Machine Co. of Columbus, Ohio, began using blue-painted Hercules engines on their concrete mixers in 1920. Prior to 1920, Jaeger used at least one other supplier, most often the Waterloo Gas Engine Co. of Waterloo, Iowa. These engines were painted red and used the typical Jaeger logo.

The first Hercules-built engine used by Jaeger was the 1 -1/2 HP Model E, which was identical - except in color - to the Economy brand sold at that time by Sears, Roebuck & Co. The subsequent introduction of the Model F with the improved Webster 1A magneto in late 1921 updated the engine's main casting to the same one used on the restyled Economy brand engine.

Also found on the Model F and later models was a little brace added to steady the oiler pipe and to reinforce it during transport (Photo #1).

Beginning on March 1, 1923, Jaeger Model FW engines came equipped with the Wico EK magneto. For an unknown reason, engines between serial numbers 300,000 and 303,000 were equipped with a spark plug in the head. Although provisions were made in the casting for the fuel spout to protrude from the off side, a hole was drilled on the ignition side to provide for the location of the fuel filler there (Photo #2 and #3).

The typical oval Jaeger tag added at the Hercules factory can be seen on the engine base in Photo #3. Mixer data such as size, configuration and mixer serial number was attached at the Jaeger factory. Quite often, a Hercules decal was added to the front of the water hopper, and a Jaeger decal appeared on one side of the hopper. These engines used a one-piece side rod bracket, but no patent date can be found on the trip finger holder and the spark plug wasn't positioned in its normal place.

Photo #1: 2 HP Jaeger-branded Hercules, serial no. 291491, with Webster 1A magneto. Note the brace added to steady the oiler pipe where it passes through the hopper.

Note the tall fuel fill spout with a supporting bracket in Photo #4 added to keep the fuel from spilling during transport. This engine also sports the oiler pipe brace and has a rectangular Jaeger date tag on the base.

Beginning sometime in 1927, Hercules manufactured only one block style for its small engines. The newer engines can be recognized by their typical Hercules-shaped block with the oval water hopper hole rather than the older rectangular hole models. Beginning in late 1928, all Jaeger engines were equipped with three-hole flywheels rather than the typical spoke type. By late 1929, the Jaeger engine made by Hercules was no longer used on the Jaeger mixers.

While at a recent Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, farm equipment show, I had a conversation with Ray Scholl. He told me that for some period of time Hercules couldn't supply engines quickly enough to fill Jaeger demand. Supposedly, Hercules shipped parts to Jaeger and assembly was made in Columbus, Ohio. This caused some consumers to think that the engines were actually manufactured there.

Note that this 2 HP engine, serial no. 301965, has the spark plug located in the cylinder head. The fuel filler has been moved to the ignition side of the engine, yet there's still a casting hole on the off side for the fuel filler. This engine also shows how the Hercules decal was often applied on the front of the hopper along with the Jaeger decal on one side of the engine.

Note that this 2 HP engine, serial no. 301965, has the spark plug located in the cylinder head. The fuel filler has been moved to the ignition side of the engine, yet there's still a casting hole on the off side for the fuel filler. This engine also shows how the Hercules decal was often applied on the front of the hopper along with the Jaeger decal on one side of the engine.

A 2 HP Model S, serial no. 351726. This engine also has the brace for the cylinder oiler tube, plus the fuel filler spout has been strengthened with an added bracket.

Jaeger purists may decide that the decal is rather large and that the small engines need stripes on the upper and lower curved parts of the water hopper. Ford tractor blue is a good paint match for Jaeger engines. Although the engines pictured here have pulleys or no pulley, they were all originally equipped with an appropriate sprocket for a chain drive that drove the mixer.

Glenn Karch is a noted authority on Hercules engines. Contact him at: 20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, IN 47639, or via e-mail at: glenn.karch@gte.net