HE WAS SMILING!

By Staff
1 / 2
1925 5 HP Hercules, after.
2 / 2
1925 5 HP Hercules, before.

Box 108 Sicklerville, New Jersey 08081

A few years ago my husband, Edward T. Bernhardt, pulled into the
driveway with this rusty, old piece of junk engine in the back of
his truck. The flywheels wouldn’t even turn. The smile on his
face made me realize that he had found the I McCormick Deering he
had been looking for. I couldn’t believe my eyes, for this
engine did not look like the model we have sitting on top of our
TV. At the time, like many other people, I had never thought about
these, powerful little engines that were part of the backbone of
our country in the oil fields, coal mines and most important, on
farms.

The next few weeks were an experience to, me as I watched Ed
take every piece of this engine apart. He sand-blasted, patched,
mended, oiled and finally painted it. After weeks of running around
collecting missing pieces, he was able to put it back together, and
then came the reward. When he turned the flywheels and that piece
of junk, now a beauty, spit, choked and coughed smoke and started
to run, WOW! It was a piece of history that everyone should have
the opportunity to experience. Just think, this engine gave its
life to some farmer for a few years, and then spent about 40 years
lying in some field waiting for my husband to lovingly bring it
back to life. I’m sure this engine was as proud as my husband
was to see it running.

As soon as this project was completed, Ed was off to get another
engine. This time it was a hit and miss 1 Economy. Here we go
again, all that rust, missing parts, painting, but most of all,
determination. The second engine, now a shiny red, runs as good as
it did some 70 years ago.

We have enclosed pictures of our Pride and Joy Engine No. 3. A
1925 5 HP Hercules with, of course, the same standards that come
with most engines RUST. My husband picked up an EK magneto which
had no return spring, so he had to tie it on with a spongy cord. As
it did not add to the appearance of this beautiful engine, he then
bought the proper PR mag. After days of sand blasting (my yard
looks like a beach), he filled it with fiberglass body filler on
all parts, sanded it, then two coats of primer, sanding in between
each coat, and then painted the engine with acrylic-enamel auto
paint.

Then Ed went to the junk dealer and bought four rusty wheels
that needed to be sanded and painted. He used oak 1 x 4s and glued
them together to make it 4 x 4 (which laminates and strengthens the
wood) and made the cart that our Pride and Joy Engine No. 3 sits
on.

Just wait ’til you see Engine No. 4. It is with great pride
that I am sending you pictures of my husband’s 5 HP
Hercules.

It was something he had wanted to do for many years, but never
had the time. As soon as he retired, he was able to fulfill his
love for these engines.

Written by Helen, who is very proud of her husband’s
achievement in bringing three old-time engines to life and working
on the fourth.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines