Hercules Engine News

By Staff
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20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

The Hercules interests that began in Evansville, Indiana back in
1902, provide an interesting array of trademarks. Some were
registered, while others apparently were not. The first known
trademark was used on the buggies and in the buggy literature. It
featured Hercules, the Greek god of strength, trying to twist and
tear up the buggy. The date of its first use is not known. It is
illustrated above.

The trademarks used on Hercules brand engines and in the
accompanying literature came in several variations. Among the
examples taken from C. H. Wendel’s book on gas engine
trademarks are two claimed to have been in use beginning on
February 10, 1914 The registration for the first one was applied
for on February 16, 1914. The first one shows Hercules trying to
stop an early engine chat has a rolled hopper lip, Lukenheimer
mixer, ball muffler and a priming cup on the side of the cylinder.
It is enclosed in a plain circle with the engine apparently resting
on a board plank floor. As far as is known, it was not used as such
on engines, but it did appear on some printed material encircled
with the caption ‘Hercules A Real Engine.’

The first trademark to be used on gas engines shows a slightly
different engine design and a slightly modified image of Hercules.
It was encircled with ‘The Hercules Gas Engine Co.’ on the
top and ‘Evansville, Ind. U.S.A.’ on the bottom. Although
it was claimed to have been in use since February 10, 1910,
registration was not applied for until April 2, 1926. This
trademark was used from 1914 to 1921.

By 1922 the various Hercules related companies had been
consolidated into ‘The Hercules Corporation.’ The trademark
itself was changed slightly showing an updated engine and a
different view. The upper caption was changed to ‘The Hercules
Corporation’ and below Indiana is spelled out rather than
abbreviated.

By 1927 the corporate structure had been changed again, and this
time renamed ‘Servel Inc.’ Gas engines and other
enterprises became ‘Hercules Products, Inc.’ Thus, the
upper caption on the trademark was changed to read ‘Hercules
Products, Inc.’ The engine pictured was also updated
somewhat.

Although it does not involve the trademark itself, Servel, Inc.
gave up the right to use the Hercules name on engines and left the
exclusive use of the engine name to the Hercules Motor Company of
Canton, Ohio. There is more to the story of trademarks associated
with Evansville and the Hercules name, but this will be discussed
in a future story.

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