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A Hercules Economy S Mystery

A circa-1926 14hp Hercules Economy S engine is the gem of a Minnesota man’s engine collection and a conundrum.

| June/July 2019

Bill Kruize’s circa-1926 Hercules Economy S carries a factory 14hp rating. No records exist showing Hercules ever made a 14hp S.

1926 14hp Hercules Economy S

Manufacturer: Hercules Gas Engine Co., Evansville, IN
Year: Circa 1926
Serial No.: 351570
Horsepower: 14hp @ 350rpm
Bore & stroke: 7-1/2in x 12in
Ignition: Spark plug w/Wico magneto
Governing: Hit-and-miss w/flyball governor
Cooling: Hopper

Seventy-two-year-old Bill Kruize of Donnelly, Minnesota, doesn’t really search for odd experiences, but he does seem to find them.

Once, he bought eight gasoline engines for the price of a couple of tanks of gas for your car. Another time, he and his brother-in-law, Larry Smith, dragged an old engine home 5 miles from where they bought it — using just the trucks. And he found a gasoline engine that appears to never have been cataloged.

Getting Started

Bill’s interest in gas engines began with an old stuck engine he worked on when he was growing up on the family farm. “I got that going, and then I bought eight engines from a neighbor for $5 each. That was back in the late 1960s.” That included a Cushman, an air-cooled New Way, and a 1-1/2hp John Deere. “The owner was an old mechanic, and he knew I was a collector and that I would keep them at the Donnelly Threshing Bee, so he gave me a good deal. I still have those engines today. I have never sold any of my engines,” Bill adds.

The build plate on Bill’s Hercules clearly shows its 14hp rating.


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