Reprinted from the
December 1998 issue of the
Gas Engine Magazine

Hercules Engine News
Including Economy, Arco,
Jaeger & Thermoil

by Glenn Karch
Old State Road
Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

Hercules engines and the other brands built at the Hercules Gas Engine Company factory are of great interest to many collectors.  For interested buffs, there are many new little bits of information that keep turning up.

One of the supplies that often came up with Economy engines was a quart of gas engine cylinder oil.  The can was sometimes shown in the Sears Catalogs.  These cans are now a rare find.  At the June engine show at Coolsprings, Pennsylvania, such a can as shown here was on display among a collection of spout type oil cans.  The label reads, "Economy Gas Engine Cylinder Oil" followed by "Recommended Especially For Use In Economy Stationary Engine and Motorgo Engines."  The label goes on to say, "The Best Oil It Is Possible To Make For Gas and Gasoline Engines."  Nearer the bottom of the can in smaller print is a catalog number with the prices per gallon of additional oil listed as follows.

1 Gal Can/per gallon 0.37
5 Gal Can/per gallon 0.31
10 Gal Can/per gallon 0.29
50 Gal Wood Barrel/per gal 0.22
50 Gal Steel Barrel/per gal 0.27

Nothing is mentioned about the cost of a one quart can.  It surely looks like a 50 gallon barrel would outlast any Economy engine built in those days.

Some time ago there was a story about the Economy gas engine bow-tie decal.  I recently acquired a 3HP model G Economy parts engine number 307,037.  It had reasonably good remains of the bow-tie decal on one side of the hopper.  There was enough there to get good details of the original.  My own reconstruction of the original is shown here with the light yellow background and the twin black striped outline with the gold stripe in between.  The lettering is gold with black shadowing.  Of course, the blackened "scales of justice" emblem appears in the background.


Another interesting feature of the above Economy engine is its light green flywheels.  This green, similar to John Deere or perhaps David Bradley green, has been observed before on original Economy engines.  I am beginning to wonder if there weren't some Economy engines of this vintage (1924) produced with green flywheels.

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