Hercules Engine News

Hercules Oddities

| September/October 2002


Photo #1: Was this mixer made by Hercules or Brownwall?

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: glenn.karch@gte.net