Hercules Gas Engine
San Francisco, California
Around the turn of the century there was a company located in San Francisco, California also called "Hercules Gas Engine Company." There is no known relationship of this company with the Hercules Gas Engine Company of Evansville, Indiana.
Paul Katon of New Zealand writes the following about the San Francisco Company:
"Here is some info I got out of the
big yellow book (Stationary Gas Engines by C.H. Wendel) so it is maybe old
news. When I first got this engine I read every page that had an engine made in San
Fancisco and I came across Palmer & Rey page #377 and read, "in june 1891 George
Hoyt applied for letters patent on a governing device working on the exhaust valve"
which decribed the same as mine except mine works on the inlet valve. Patent # 502255 was
granted July 25, 1893 and this # & date is one of several cast on the side of my
engine. On September 6, 1892 the company filed for protection of `Hercules' `Improved
Hercules' & `New Hercules' trademarks for there engines. Also while cleaning my engine
on the under side of the exhaust valve access plate is cast the letters P&R and
somthing else that I can't make out. So I would say Palmer & Rey & Hercules gas
engine works are one and the same. On page # 228 under Hercules gas engine works it
says that after 1907 the Peerless motor company would build the Hercules engines &
little is heard of Hercules after this time."
Click on picture for a larger view.
This beautiful engine is owned by:
Here are some more pictures of Paul's Hercules
engine. It is running at it's first show.
Hercules Engine, built by the Hercules Gas Engine Works, San Francisco USA.
With a serial No. 6028, it has a bore of 8", stroke of 10" flywheel diameter of
39.5" and width of 3.75". All the information we can find out here in Australia is
that it was built during or before 1907.
Owned by a friend of Owen Langburne of
This engine is owned by Kenny Wolf of Peru, Indiana.
The picture provided by Ted Brookover firstname.lastname@example.org
More of Kenny's collection of engines can be found at:
Here is a postcard of early San Francisco. On the side of
the building on the left hand side of the card about mid-way
up the card it says "The Hercules Gas Engine Works
Gas, Gasoline, & Oil Engines 2 H.P. to 500 H.P." I don't
know if this is the actual factory or just advertising painted
on the side of the building. It is a large file but I thought
you would want the clarity.
Paul sends this picture of the "Headless Hercules."
Paul writes: "Heres some more pics of an Hercules engine made in San Francisco.
This engine closely ressembles the Peerless engine made by the Peerless Motor Co.
Lansing, Michigan shown on page 386 of Wendel's book. I'd say this engine
would be about 1907 or there abouts. This engine was saved from the scarp yard
by a fellow collector."
Does anyone know where a head can be found?????
Paul Kayton sends these photos and information from
his friend Jim Davies of Auckland New Zealand.
Jim writes: "I believe it came to New Zealand second hand with some
people who migrated from Holland about 1938. When I came across it,
a sadder engine would be hard to find. The owner lived up in Kaitaia,
Northland and when he contacted me he offered to dig it out from the stop
bank where he buried it 20 years ago. Many parts I had cast or repaired.
Unfortunately he used one of the flywheels to moor his boat.
When we lifted the wheel up it was to far gone so down it went again.
So far I have yet to find another". H.J.Davies
Te Atatu south
Return to the main page.