Hercules Engine News

By Staff
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ELKHARDT BUILT-IN MAGNETO. Furnished on 1914 Engines.
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20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

By mid 1914 Hercules and Economy model E engines were being
produced at the Hercules Gas Engine Company. The E model era would
end some seven years later in 1921. During that time over 210,000
engines were produced, making the E Model more numerous than all
other models combined during 20 years of engine production. Jaeger
brand engines made their first appearance toward the end of the E
model era.

Serial numbers at Evansville apparently began at 50,000. The
lowest number observed to date is 50,035. It is a 2? HP Economy
with rounded hopper edges and the serial number tag located on the
base.

Initially, the first changes from the D to the E model were the
addition of a speed control lever to the governor and a brass tag
to the engine base or hopper top. Also with the introduction of the
E models, the HP ratings were increased from 4 to 5, 6 to 7, 8 to
9, and 10 to 12. The bores and strokes remained the same, as did
the r.p.m. on the 9 and 12. On the 5 and 7 HP, the r.p.m. was
raised by 25.

The early Hercules E was rated at 2? HP, whereas the Economy was
rated at 2? HP. Originally the Hercules had a 4′ bore too, but
it was increased to 4?’ and rerated to 3 HP.

There were numerous changes in various engine parts during the E
model era. Some were very minor, others were easily observed. Some
of the features of the Hercules and Economy lines are different and
these will be dealt with later.

Ignition on the early E models was still by ignitor, battery and
coil with the Elkhardt magneto an option on the three smaller
sizes. On the three larger sizes the Elkhardt magneto was standard.
By the end of 1914, the Webster magneto also became an option. On
the plain igniter there was no priming cup, so it was located on
the side of the cylinder where the pipe plug is on the 7 HP engine
shown.

Ten original Hercules Gas Engine Company drawings of straight
frame engine carts and saw rig carts still exist. They are dated in
October and November of 1914. There are separate plans for carts,
sliding saw carts and tilting saw carts. Hopper cooled and tank
cooled engine cart designs are also shown. All 7, 9 and 12 HP carts
are for ? base engines. The caption from one of the drawings is
illustrated.

Shown in the pictures is a 1? HP E Economy number 51772. Note
the tag on the base. A peculiar shaped fuel mixer is shown on a 7
HP Economy number 53851.

Soon the Hercules and Economy lines would have their own
identity; more on that later.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines