20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, Indiana 47639
Late in 1909 the Model A Sparta Economy engine was discontinued
and the model B was introduced. The model B had many features of
the model A, but there also were some changes. The most notable was
in the water hopper. Gone was the hopper opening with the raised
lip. The model B hopper was flat on top with the rectangular
removable ‘hopper ring’ which became a Sparta trademark.
Model B serial numbers began around 1200 and continued through
about 6000 making production of 4800 engines.
It should be pointed out that there were never dramatic changes.
Rather, it was just a gradual metamorphosis beginning with the
Waterloo Economy in 1908 and continuing through the S model built
by Hercules 1925-29.
The identification tag was modified to the style shown and
remained so until the end of production of the Sparta type engines.
However, a few of the late 1 HP Sparta type engines built in
Evansville by Hercules in 1914 had a different tag.
The igniter holder was originally held to the side rod with a
pin passing through both. This was changed to two set screws on the
bottom which allowed for some adjustment at that point; otherwise,
timing adjustments were made by screwing the trip finger in or out
of the holder.
The model B had split hub flywheels with two clamping bolts. It
retained the same speed control that Holm had applied for a patent
on. The Essex fuel mixer was standard. The fuel tank was changed to
a sheet metal one in the base. The cast iron fuel spout had a pipe
plug cap that screwed down into the funnel shaped top.
An original model B instruction book exists but it is too
fragile to handle or copy. It came with engine number 1391. The
accompanying bill of sale was dated November 1, 1909.
It is interesting to note that engines matching the model B
description never appear in the Sears catalogs. The illustrations
go from the model A in the spring 1910 issue (the model A had
already been discontinued) to the short lived model C in the fall
The catalog text goes to great length about how they do not have
a lot of high priced people in their organization so they can keep
the engine prices low without sacrificing quality. Their only high
paid person is the superintendent who they say is the best in the
business and is worth his high pay. Another catalog note relates to
the engine color. Simply stated, they were painted vermilion which
Webster translates into ‘bright red.’ Today X-O-Rust IHC
red available at Tru Value hardware stores seems to be a good
Coming up next time is the model C, the 4000 serial number gap
and why three raised bosses on the 2 HP engine base.