The Hercules Engine News

| December/January 1999

Hercules Engine

Picture 1

20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

During the past show season, yours truly has been measuring the drop frame carts used on the larger Hercules and Economy engines. However, the final details are yet to be summed up and that will be a later story. Meanwhile, it is not often that you get to see original cart setups. Here is an original 3 HP model 'E' Hercules and the original 3 HP and 5 HP hand portable cart (pictures 1 and 2). As you can notice, it has adapter plates to make the 3 HP fit the cart rails and mounting holes. The 5 HP size fits the rails and mounting holes without further adaptation.

The cart is made of three inch channel iron 54 inches long. The front wheels are 14 x 2? and the rears are 20 x 2? inches. The engine shown here is number 118281, produced in mid-1917. It belongs to Dave Davis of Buena Vista, Pennsylvania.

Often there are interesting curiosities to be seen. One such is the 1? HP Hercules engine number 181429 belonging to Don Schmidt of Paden City, West Virginia. It has HERCULES spelled out in raised letters on the crank guard. Interesting--yes. Authentic-- no. Someone had these special crank guards cast and Don was lucky enough to get one of them. It does add to the attractiveness of the engine (picture 3).

Here is an interesting after-market natural/LP gas attachment on a 3 HP throttling governed Hercules engine. Such modifications typically show up in the oil field areas of western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It takes about two pounds of gas pressure and a lightly spring loaded valve inside hopping up and down to make it work (picture 4).

During the mid-teens the Sears catalogs show engines with a natural 1/LP gas attachment that screws into the side of the regular 'J' type fuel mixer. Details, however, can't be seen. Does anyone out there have more details on such a gas attachment?