Hercules Engine News

By Staff
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The Jaeger Machine Co. of Columbus, Ohio, began using
blue-painted Hercules engines on their concrete mixers in 1920.
Prior to 1920, Jaeger used at least one other supplier, most often
the Waterloo Gas Engine Co. of Waterloo, Iowa. These engines were
painted red and used the typical Jaeger logo.

The first Hercules-built engine used by Jaeger was the 1 -1/2 HP
Model E, which was identical – except in color – to the Economy
brand sold at that time by Sears, Roebuck & Co. The subsequent
introduction of the Model F with the improved Webster 1A magneto in
late 1921 updated the engine’s main casting to the same one
used on the restyled Economy brand engine.

Also found on the Model F and later models was a little brace
added to steady the oiler pipe and to reinforce it during transport
(Photo #1).

Beginning on March 1, 1923, Jaeger Model FW engines came
equipped with the Wico EK magneto. For an unknown reason, engines
between serial numbers 300,000 and 303,000 were equipped with a
spark plug in the head. Although provisions were made in the
casting for the fuel spout to protrude from the off side, a hole
was drilled on the ignition side to provide for the location of the
fuel filler there (Photo #2 and #3).

The typical oval Jaeger tag added at the Hercules factory can be
seen on the engine base in Photo #3. Mixer data such as size,
configuration and mixer serial number was attached at the Jaeger
factory. Quite often, a Hercules decal was added to the front of
the water hopper, and a Jaeger decal appeared on one side of the
hopper. These engines used a one-piece side rod bracket, but no
patent date can be found on the trip finger holder and the spark
plug wasn’t positioned in its normal place.

Photo #1: 2 HP Jaeger-branded Hercules, serial no. 291491, with
Webster 1A magneto. Note the brace added to steady the oiler pipe
where it passes through the hopper.

Note the tall fuel fill spout with a supporting bracket in Photo
#4 added to keep the fuel from spilling during transport. This
engine also sports the oiler pipe brace and has a rectangular
Jaeger date tag on the base.

Beginning sometime in 1927, Hercules manufactured only one block
style for its small engines. The newer engines can be recognized by
their typical Hercules-shaped block with the oval water hopper hole
rather than the older rectangular hole models. Beginning in late
1928, all Jaeger engines were equipped with three-hole flywheels
rather than the typical spoke type. By late 1929, the Jaeger engine
made by Hercules was no longer used on the Jaeger mixers.

While at a recent Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, farm equipment show, I had
a conversation with Ray Scholl. He told me that for some period of
time Hercules couldn’t supply engines quickly enough to fill
Jaeger demand. Supposedly, Hercules shipped parts to Jaeger and
assembly was made in Columbus, Ohio. This caused some consumers to
think that the engines were actually manufactured there.

Note that this 2 HP engine, serial no. 301965, has the spark
plug located in the cylinder head. The fuel filler has been moved
to the ignition side of the engine, yet there’s still a casting
hole on the off side for the fuel filler. This engine also shows
how the Hercules decal was often applied on the front of the hopper
along with the Jaeger decal on one side of the engine.

Note that this 2 HP engine, serial no. 301965, has the spark
plug located in the cylinder head. The fuel filler has been moved
to the ignition side of the engine, yet there’s still a casting
hole on the off side for the fuel filler. This engine also shows
how the Hercules decal was often applied on the front of the hopper
along with the Jaeger decal on one side of the engine.

A 2 HP Model S, serial no. 351726. This engine also has the
brace for the cylinder oiler tube, plus the fuel filler spout has
been strengthened with an added bracket.

Jaeger purists may decide that the decal is rather large and
that the small engines need stripes on the upper and lower curved
parts of the water hopper. Ford tractor blue is a good paint match
for Jaeger engines. Although the engines pictured here have pulleys
or no pulley, they were all originally equipped with an appropriate
sprocket for a chain drive that drove the mixer.

Glenn Karch is a noted authority on Hercules engines.
Contact him at: 20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, IN 47639, or via
e-mail at: glenn.karch@gte.net

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