The Hercules Engine News

By Staff

20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, indiana47639 glenkarch@gte
.net

There are ‘bits and pieces’ that apply to almost
everything. Here are bits and pieces from the world of Hercules
engines.

On November 13, I had occasion to stop by the Arizona Early Days
Gas Engine and Tractor Association’s show at Glendale. There
was one lone Hercules engine there. It was a newly acquired 1? HP
model S Hercules, number 370, 158, shown by Keith and Kenny
Tennyson of Phoenix. They had a problem with their new toy. It
would run but it was so fast and wouldn’t shut down. Problem
solved–the detent blade was worn round on the end and wouldn’t
latch behind the block.

A call came from Charlie Thompson of Gilbertsville, Alabama, the
other day. He has what I would call the newest large size Hercules
engine. It is a 14 HP number 363,163 model S. It has March 23, 1927
casting date on the head. It is very likely that production of this
size engine ended soon after that. The fall 1928 Sears catalog no
longer lists a 14 HP size and the Hercules price list of February
1, 1929 no longer lists that size either.

An interesting letter showed up in the mail back in November.
Pat Downey of Hofmyer, South Africa, writes to tell about
rebuilding a 5 HP model EK Hercules engine, number 280,569. In
addition to the normal Hercules tag, it has another tag on the base
that reads, ‘RICHARDS & HIRSCHFELD INC. NEW YORK CITY.’
It is assumed that they were exporters in South Africa at that
time.

Occasionally there is some confusion between what started out as
the Hercules Gas Engine Company of Evansville, Indiana, and the
Hercules Motor Company of Canton, Ohio. Quickly, they were
separate, distinct and completely unrelated companies. Of course,
neither is any longer in business. Hercules at Evansville built one
cylinder open flywheel engines primarily for stationary farm use.
Hercules at Canton built two, four and six cylinder enclosed
engines that were used to power various kinds of industrial
equipment. To a lesser degree, they also powered some small farm
tractors, balers and combines.

Recently, three model NXB, two cylinder Hercules power units
showed at my place. They are rated at 17 HP and were built in 1950.
They had been coupled to pumps in the oil fields to transfer oil
along the pipelines to the oil storage tanks. They are radiator
cooled, have Rockford clutches, and are equipped with electric
starters. When serviced in the field, the starter was normally
jumped from the service truck, thus no generator or battery was
necessary on the engine itself. Interestingly, all three of these
two cylinder Hercules engines are equipped with an oil gauge that
has a low oil pressure ignition shut-off built into it. Even though
I have them, these two cylinder engines are not my main area of
interest. People occasionally contact me for information on them
and I have none.

To help clear that up a little, I recently talked with Jerry
Biro, P.O. Box 206, Martinsburg, Ohio 43037. He can supply
information, some parts and literature for those MULTI-CYLINDER
Hercules engines built at Canton, Ohio. You may phone him at
740-745-1475. Please note – he DOES NOT have information or parts
for the ONE CYLINDER Hercules engines built at Evansville,
Indiana.

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