Hercules Engine News

By Staff
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20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

For an engine producer that was noted for somewhat standardized,
simple common hit and miss engines, Hercules produced a lot of
variations, special features and brands that are seldom seen.
Again, during the first half of the E model era (1914-17), there
are interesting developments.

There was a special fuel mixer designed to allow the hit and
miss engines to burn natural gas, artificial gas (LP) and gasoline.
Shown here (below) is a l? HP Economy engine so equipped. The
standard fuel valve allowed the engine to be started on gasoline as
usual. Once the engine was started, the gas valve could be turned
on and the gasoline valve turned off. The gas was fed in under low
pressure (1 or 2 pounds per square inch) behind a small poppet
valve heavy enough to shut off gas flow until the intake stroke of
the engine. It then was raised up by the intake vacuum and a charge
of air and gas was drawn in through the special gas mixer and into
the cylinder.

Sears catalogs show engines of this design for several years and
list them as being available in all sizes. It is likely that these
engines were used in areas where natural gas was available and
where the engine was permanently installed. o instructions or parts
literature for these special equipped engines has turned up so
far.

The Hercules throttling governed engine (model EK) was
introduced in 1915. Along with its development, Hercules must have
solicited business from jobbers and industrial suppliers. During
this time there was a proliferation of engines using the Hercules
design and marketed under what are now rather obscure brands. Many
of these were of the throttling governed type. The brands known
are: Champion, Rohaco, Reeco, American, Williams, Phillips, Enen,
Saxon, Atlas Mixer, Loane, Ajax, Keystone.

There are likely more. Some engines left the Hercules factory
with these brands on them and others were rebranded somewhere in
the marketing channels.

Another somewhat obscure feature also shows up. A few engines
(Hercules and other brands) are equipped with smaller diameter,
heavier built flywheels. Shown here (above) is a three HP Hercules
so equipped. It came off of a concrete mixer. It also has a longer
crankshaft on the pulley side. Regardless of engine size, the
design of these special flywheels is the same. It is likely that
these smaller diameter wheels were an option when the engine was to
be used in a somewhat restricted space. Interestingly, these
special flywheels never show up in any of the catalogs,
instruction, or parts books.

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