Hercules Engine News
by Glenn Karch
The Bournival R Company of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was apparently an importer or jobber for Hercules-built engines. Just recently, J. F. Pollard of Vankleek Hill, Ontario, sent me a folder from a Bournival catalog: Section "A," Catalogue No. 32. It shows various Hercules type engines along with parts illustrations and specifications. It is captioned in both English and French. In French the brand is "Champion Economique," and in English it is "Champion Economy."
The engines shown appear to be early ones from 1915 or '16. They were available with either igniter, battery and coil ignition, or the Webster magneto system. Illustrations show the early priming cup on the side of the cylinder and the heavily weighted flywheel side to balance the engine. Both hit and miss and throttling governed engines are shown.
The two color illustrations m the folder show the engines to be dark green like the Hercules with red striping; however, there is no decal or other brand shown on the engine.
Soon after hearing from Mr. Pollard, an e-mail message came from Randy Faulkner asking about a 1 1/2 HP Bournival that he had just obtained. It has an extra tag with the Bournival ID on it. The engine also has the regular Hercules tag with a 1919 serial number on it. Randy asked about the color because his is familiar rust color right now.
Production of engines very similar to those produced by Hercules were being built ac Plessisville, Quebec, beginning in 1919. Among the brands labeled from Plessisville was a Champion Economique. The question is, "Did Boumival cease to offer Hercules type engines when production began at La Fonderie De Plessisville!"
Shown here are two illustrations taken from that folder. One shows a 3 HP engine belted to a conventional pump jack and the other shows a 1 1/2 HP engine attached to a direct gear driven horizontal pump jack. Illustrations are identical to those in use in the Hercules literature of that time period.