Including Economy, Arco, Jaeger & Thermoil
20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, Indiana 47639
During 1923 another new one piece block engine was introduced. It was a reduced size 1 HP engine designated the model N. It had a 31/4 inch bore and a 4 inch stroke. It was more of a departure from the normal Hercules design than the larger one piece block engine discussed in the previous article.
The 1 Model N was about 75 pounds lighter and sold for about 10 dollars less than the standard l HP engines of the time. The water hopper was smaller, there was no cast iron bottom in the crank area and the flywheels were only 16 inches in diameter. Its only grease cup was on the connecting rod bearing. The rear end of the side rod was supported by a rocker arm because there was no regular governor bracket.
Although identical, they were produced as both Hercules and Economy brands with the latter being the most common. Production lasted less than two years with a total of some 5000 being produced. Serial numbers fall into the 311,000 to 323,000 range. Twenty-two are currently known.
During their short production run, several changes were made. Originally the fuel mixer was cast as part of the head, but it was later changed to the screw on 'J' type with a choke flap being a variable. In the beginning the detachable 11/4 inch hand crank was used, but it was later changed to the handle being built into the flywheel. There were also changes in the single flywheel governor weight and the detent arm. There were also three different fuel spout arrangements.
The normal muffler consisted of a small metal plate in the exhaust opening on the offside of the head. A special adapter was available so the standard small Hercules cone type muffler could be added. So far, only one of these has been observed.
The 1 HP N was not without troubles. Although the detent arm and governor weight both had adjustable stops, the governor weight often knocked off the end of the detent arm allowing the engine to 'run away'. The result was often damage to the governor weight and engine parts affected by or attached to the side rod. Almost all model N engines observed so far have had repairs to the detent and other parts. Perhaps being governed at 650 RPM was too fast for the mechanisms involved. The various model N features are illustrated in the accompanying photos.
You'll be able to see the model N and other unique Hercules built engines on display at the 80th anniversary Hercules Homecoming June 10-12, 1994 at Evansville, Indiana.
In the previous article, by mistake it was stated that the large one piece block engine shared the same crankshaft with the standard engine. Since writing that article, a 2 HP model F Jaeger has also turned up with the Webster 1A magneto system.