Hercules Engine News

Including Economy, Arco, Jaeger & Thermoil

| December/January 1993

  • V. E. Mac McMullen

  • Large turrent head drilling machine

  • V. E. Mac McMullen
  • Large turrent head drilling machine

20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

Last month's story was a cartoon drawing of sketches made during a tour of the Hercules Gas Engine Company factory. There are two scenes from that cartoon that have a story.

The first illustration is that of V. E. 'Mac' McMullen who was the general superintendent of the Hercules gas engine factory. He was said to have been a very likeable, tall, slender fellow. During his time at Hercules, he had opportunity to meet Clessie Cummins who apparently made several trips to the Hercules plant at Evansville, Indiana, in regard to HVID type engines. Cummins must have been impressed by Mr. McMullen because he eventually went to work for the Cummins Engine Company at Columbus, Indiana. At Cummins he later became vice president and general manager.

The second illustration is that of a large turrent head drilling machine. Former Hercules employee Fred Buente who is now in his late 90s related this story several years ago: He worked nearby on another machine planing the bottoms of the 2 and 5 HP water hoppers. The drilling machine had several large handles attached to a spindle for raising and lowering the drilling head.

There was a cable with a counter balance attached to the drilling head to make it easy to raise and lower. One day the cable broke causing the handles to spin. The operator was too close and a handle hit him in the head and killed him. Although Mr. Buente did not see it happen, he remembers the man lying on the floor with a hole bashed in the side of his head. Mr. Buente reported too that the next morning a large band had been made and attached to the outer ends of the handles so that the machine operator could no longer get his head between them.


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