Hercules Engine News

Including Economy, Arco, Jaeger & Thermoil

| January/February 1996

20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

There are two more registered trademarks that were used on Hercules built engines. These trademarks belonged to Sears, Roebuck & Company. They were the Economy and Thermoil 'bow tie or propeller' design trademarks. There were also several unregistered trademarks used too.

The name Economy first appeared on engines Sears marketed in 1908. These engines were produced by the Waterloo Gas Engine Company, and Economy only appeared on the hopper tag. The Economy name was continued (of slightly different lettering) on the brass hopper tag on engines built at the Holm Machine Manufacturing Company beginning in 1909. Beginning sometime in 1913 the hopper tag was moved from the side to the front, and these engines then had a decal with Economy on it along with a team of horses and the caption 'Like The Willing Horse.'

When production began at the Hercules Gas Engine Company in 1914, the familiar slanting black and yellow Economy decal came into use. This type of decal remained in use off and on with minor variations until at least 1927.

In the fall 1921 issue of the Sears catalog, the Economy 'bow tie or propeller' decal made its appearance. Sears had filed for registration of that trademark on October 8, 1920. Interestingly, Sears claimed use since July 1, 1910. Where was it hiding for eleven years? The 'bow tie' trademark as registered shows the symbol of the scales of justice in the background. This symbol is not visibly shown on illustrations in the Sears catalogs until the fall 1927 issue. This same decal with 'justice,' the open letters and the two line border can then be seen in catalog illustrations into the 1930s.