Hercules-Economy Enqine News

| September/October 1997

20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

There is always some new information that pops up in regard to antique gas engines. On June 13th at the Classic Iron Show, a man asked me about a Hercules engine that had a platform under it that stuck way out to the side where a long curved clutch handle was attached. Not knowing the answer, I assumed it to be some after-market clutch mechanism. That was on Friday. On Sunday the answer came. A friend alerted me to a piece of Hercules literature for sale in the flea market. It turned out to be an original Hercules binder circular. Right there was that engine with the platform that stuck out to the side with the long clutch handle attached. It is illustrated below. The text states that the binder engine mounting equipment was available for the 1 Vi HP size engine only. The shipping weight of the whole kit, less engine, was 170 pounds.

Information about the existence of more Sparta Economy engines continues to arrive. A 4 HP model A #602 has turned up in Texas. A 2 HP model A #1372 has turned up in Oregon. In all, since last report, there are now 385 Spartas on the list. At the Hoosier Fly-wheelers Show on June 28, there was a 3 HP model B #3698 on display. No where in literature or catalogs is a 3 HP size mentioned. It is always 2, 4, etc.

The measurements of the bore, stroke and flywheel diameter are the same as that of the normal 2 HP size of that era. Are there more Sparta Economy engines with the 3 HP tag out there? Maybe it was a Monday morning special where the HP stamper was still recovering from his weekend activities.

Hercules and Sparta engines continue to be well represented at shows. At the Hoosier Flywheelers Show there were 13, with one Hercules, four Economys, four Jaegers, one Renfrew oil engine and three Spartas. At Foos Fever at Coolspring, Pennsylvania, there were 39, with eleven Hercules, twelve Economys, nine Jaegers, two Thermoils and five Spartas. As for me, it was Foos Fever. I exhibited my 6 and 7 HP Foos engines.