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
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.