20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, lndiana 47639
Here is a story about those odd flywheels. For Hercules built
engine enthusiasts there is almost no end to the variations and
oddities that turn up. Four sizes of engines of Hercules
manufacture have turned up with off type flywheels. They are
characterized by being smaller in diameter and of heavier rim
construction than the typical ones.
The first illustration is of a 1 HP engine belonging to
Floridian Bill Nesslar. Its exact original use is unknown, but it
was thought to have been used on a rail section car. It can be
noted that the bosses on the rear have been drilled and tapped.
Whether it was fitted with some kind of bolt-on attachment is
unknown. It is engine number 353, 453 built in early 1927. Although
it is labeled Economy in the picture, the brand is
The next illustration is of a 3 HP Hercules brand engine number
269, 845 built in 1922. It currently belongs to Dr. Kent Burress of
Evansville, Indiana. The engine came off of a concrete mixer. You
can easily observe the heavier flywheel spokes and rims.
Picture number three shows the flywheels from an American brand
Hercules-built engine. American made various contractor table saws
and other construction equipment. This engine, number 284,788 built
in 1923, belongs to Jerry Morganette of Bloomington, Indiana. The
flywheel rims have extra counter balancing holes drilled into the
rim. This is a feature a normally not seen on Hercules built
This fourth picture shows an 8 HP Jaeger half-base engine.
Engines of this size were used to power stationary concrete batch
operations at construction sites. This engine number 287, 574 was
built in 1923 and belongs to Joe Basler of Lynn, Indiana. It is one
of three such engines like this so far observed. Note the extra
heavy counter balancing cast with the rim rather than the usual
hollowed out area. It also has counter balancing holes drilled in
It is very interesting to note that these smaller diameter
heavier rimmed flywheels are never described or referred to in any
of the literature seen so far. Did Hercules manufacture them? It
would appear that they were offered only for industrial use
Picture #5 is of an engine just recently acquired by Steve Barr
of Downers Grove, Illinois. It is a 3 HP engine number 273, 739
built in 1922 along with an attached pumping rig. Note the logo
outline on the water hopper. It says Hercules Engine on it but is
nothing like the typical Hercules logos. It is interesting to note
the Wico PR magneto setup. It has the old and seldom seen magneto
trip finger. Apparently the PR magneto was on the market and in use
on some Hercules-built engines at least a year prior to the
introduction of the EK in 1923.
The exact reason for these small heavy flywheels is unknown.
Could it have been to reduce the space required for the engine?
Could it have been to improve the engine counter balancing for
smoother running? You be the judge.