Reprinted from the November 1995 issue of the
Gas Engine Magazine

Hercules Engine News
Including Economy, Arco,
Jaeger & Thermoil

by Glenn Karch
Old State Road
Haubstadt, Indiana 47639 .

Yours truly attended and exhibited at the Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Show held at Portland, Indiana, August 23-27. Among the 2500 engines on display there were over 100 Hercules and related engines. Sixty-four engines, not known before, were added to the list, including three ARCO, ten Jaeger, thirty-one Economy, sixteen Hercules, one Hercules oil engine, one Plessisville and two Sparta Economys.

There were several engines of interest. Engine number 197934, 11/2 E Hercules, is one of those seldom seen two-piece engines that were made primarily for export. They could be broken down into parts weighing less than 50 pounds each for easy transport into remote areas.

Engine number 10274, a 9 HP model UA Hercules oil engine, was offered for sale. It had the seldom seen sheet metal crankcase enclosure. It was started several times for prospective buyers.

Engine number 1524, a 6 HP built in Plessisville, Quebec, is one of 83 6 HP engines built there in 1921. This engine offered for sale has many parts interchangeable with the regular 5 HP and 6 HP Hercules and Economy engines. The most notable difference from the USA engines are the location of the exhaust opening and the type of speed control lever.

Engine number 287574 is an 8 HP Jaeger built in 1923. It is unique in that it has a half base similar to those offered on Hercules and Economy engines in 1914-15 for mounting on straight frame carts. It also has special heavier than normal flywheels. Jaeger engines of this size are scarce and this one was likely custom built for some special concrete machinery operation such as a stationary mixing setup.

Engine number 1152 is a 2 1/2-3 HP Hercules model JI. JI models, especially the large size, are seldom seen and most J models are the JK kerosene engines. The 1152 is also the lowest J model serial number so far observed.

Two engines, a 2 S Jaeger, number 368918 and a 1 3/4 S Economy number 356776, both had the traditional Hercules shaped water hoppers. As engine production slowed in 1927 and Jaeger production was about to cease and Economy XK models were to be introduced, all small block engines shared the Hercules shaped hopper.

I also attended and exhibited at The Old Threshers Reunion at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, August 30 to September 2. There appeared to be about 1000 engines on display there. About twenty were Hercules and related engines. Four Hercules and three Economy's, not seen before, were added to the list.

Engine number 18271 is a 3 HP (rerated from 2 1/2 HP) model XK Economy. This is the highest serial number observed so far for an X model.

Engine number 3999 is an 8 HP model XK Economy built in 1928. It is very similar to the 7 HP and 8 HP Hercules engines except that it is throttling governed, has three holes rather than spoked flywheels and is painted red rather than green.

At these two shows it was nice to meet for the first time so many people who have sent correspondence, called on the phone or read the Hercules Engine News.

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