Hercules Engine News

Including Economy, ARCO, Jaeger & Thermoil

| January/February 1993

20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

The Hercules Gas Engine Company buildings were built in 1913. They were part of a large Hercules complex that occupied over 25 acres, not including the power plant across Franklin Street. It was the largest industrial area in Evansville, Indiana during its time. The first building was the buggy works, built in 1902 (Photo #3). It is west of the gas engine facilities.

The buildings housing the various Hercules companies and the gas engine area still stand, although there have been many modifications and additions. The diagram shows the gas engine building arrangement as it was in August 1918, with the new facilities being built shown. The new foundry building has HERCULES laid into the brickwork, and it is quite visible from Division Street or the new Lloyd Expressway. It is shown in the accompanying photo (Photo #1).

An article in a 1913 newspaper stated that the factory walls would be three feet of brick and ten feet of glass. Such a wall can be seen in the photo looking down the alleyway behind the new foundry (Photo #2). Once the new foundry facilities were completed, the old foundry area was modified for more machine and assembly area.

Other facilities located to the west were: buggy works, 3 story, 90' x 670'; body works, 3 story, 125' x 710'; bending room, 100' x 130'; tire setting room, 100'; x 180'; lumber kilns, 70' x 240'; spoke shed, 80' x 90'; lumber piles, over 20,000 square feet of area.

Despite the addition of the new foundry area, Hercules is still short of foundry capacity. That leads to an interesting development, but that's another story.