Here are a few interesting things related to the Hercules-built
engines. At this year’s Brown County Antique Engine and Tractor
Show in Nashville, Ind., Kenneth Osborne had a small Brownwall
engine running next to my exhibit. I noticed the fuel mixer on it
because it was exactly like the mixers used on the 1-1/2 HP Model D
and the very early Model E engines built by Hercules. In raised
letters it had ‘PAT APP’ cast into it, as do some of the
Hercules mixers. Who applied for the patent? The mixer on the
Brownwall engine is shown in Photo #1.
Those of you familiar with Hercules-built engines know they were
marketed under a variety of brand names. At the recent Coolspring,
Pa., show there was a 3 HP ROHACO engine amongst a trailer load of
engines for sale. The normal Hercules tag had been replaced and
read ‘Roberts-Hamilton Company, Minneapolis.’ It is shown
in Photo #2. It is a throttle governed engine, but if you look
carefully it can be seen that a Fairbanks-Morse fuel mixer has been
adapted to it. Judging by the flywheel weighting, the ROHACO must
be of 1915 or 1916 vintage.
If you are familiar with Thermoil engines, here is an
interesting relative that Kirk Taylor showed at the Cool spring
show. It is a two-cylinder 12 HP Brantford made in Canada.
What’s interesting is that it is simply two 6 HP Thermoil Model
U look-alikes adapted to a common base with a double throw
crankshaft and flywheels from the 8 HP size. It fires alternately
(every 360 degrees). This engine is shown in Photo #3 and in the
Brantford instruction manual. It is interesting to note that the
text and illustrations in the Brantford instruction manual are very
similar to those in the Thermoil instruction manual.
The last picture (Photo #4), also from the Cool spring show,
shows a small clutch pulley mounted on the crankshaft of a 1-3/4 HP
Model S Economy engine. No details are known about it except that
it is likely an aftermarket item. Such a pulley, although a nice
addition, was never offered as an option in the Sears catalogs.
Glenn Karch is a noted authority on Hercules engines. Contact
him at: 20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, IN 47639, or e-mail at: