The Hercules Engine News

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It wasn't unusual for some of the established gas engine manufacturers to contract to provide engines to various others, including jobbers and industrial concerns, for sale under their own individual brands. The Hercules Gas Engine Company contracted to build engines other than their own Hercules brand. The most notable other brands were the Economy for Sears and Roebuck, the Jaeger for the Jaeger Machine Company, and the ARCO for the Hardie Manufacturing Company.

There were several lesser known brands built by Hercules. Included in this group are Reeco, Saxon, Phillips, Champion, Williams, Rohaco, Ajax, Atlas Mixer, Enen, American and Loane. There are a couple of others but the brands are unknown.

So far I have become aware of four of the Saxon brand. They all have a Brackett, Shaw and Lunt of Boston, Massachusetts tag on them. They are all 1 HP model E engines. Serial numbers are 144728, 146106, 148242 (all 1918), and 185363 (1919). They are reported to be black in color with stripe color unknown at this time.

A call came earlier in the winter about a Champion brand engine, bringing the total known to four. This last one was reported to be black with orange stripes. There are two l HP E models with serial numbers 196845 and 197145 (1919). There is a 6 HP EK number 69371 (1915) and a 9 HP E number 89559 (1916).

Three Phillips drag saw engines are currently known. The generic Hercules type tag has been replaced with a Phillips tag, but apparently the Hercules data was used on the new tag. Those known are all 1 HP E with numbers 209993, 210292, and 214574 (all 1920).

Last October the first Reeco turned up. The Reeco name stands for the Rider-Ericsson Engine Company. It is a 3 HP model E with serial number 223794(1920).

While we are on the story of the lesser known Hercules built engines, there are four more to mention. There is a 5 HP EK, serial number unknown, with a Loane tag on it. There is a 5 HP E American brand with serial number 284788 (1923). There is a l HP model F, number 267521 (1922), that is simply labeled 'Milking Machine Engine.' And then there is engine number 265374 (2 HP 1922) that has the remains of a diamond-shaped emblem on the hopper sides. It has an oil field conversion to a hot tube and has a natural gas mixer.

So far, no literature has turned up in regard to any of these lesser known brands built by Hercules. Is there any out there anywhere? Color and stripe information is also sketchy or nonexistent. It is likely that some of the lesser known brands have lost their identity and have been restored as Hercules, Economy, ARCO or Jaeger brands.

It has been very interesting to follow information about engines made by the Hercules Gas Engine Company. New unknown brands pop up, and there is always some new gadget, modification or odd thing that wasn't known about before. I've been at this Hercules thing for over 15 years now and it is very interesting that new tidbits of new information are still out there waiting to be discovered.

Coming next time will be illustrations of the stripe and decorating patterns used on the Sparta Economy engines.