Reprinted from the November 1996 issue of the
Gas Engine Magazine

Hercules Engine News
Including Economy, Arco,
Jaeger & Thermoil

by Glenn Karch
Old State Road
Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

Trips to the Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Show at Portland, Indiana and to the Old Threshers Reunion at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa revealed some interesting observations in regard to Hercules built engines.

At Portland there were many more than normal Hercules engines for sale in the vendor area. Two are of special interest. Pictured below are two 2 1/2HP Economy engines. The one on the left is the seldom seen model D. The one on the right is the seldom seen early model E with the rolled hopper lip. More interestingly is the location of the tag which is on the top front of the hopper. Normally, the tag would be on the base below the igniter area on this style.

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Some time ago an engine exhibitor said his ARCO engine originally had a round decal. This was never verified; however, the mystery may now be solved. Original engine number 262527, shown in Picture #2, has all the typical Hercules model F features. Apparently there was a request for ARCO brand engines so the oval ARCO decal was placed over the round Hercules decal. As time and fading have gone on, both the round and oval decal both show and the ARCO letters appear on the round decal.


Picture #3 shows an engine of Hercules origin that has had the water hopper removed and replaced with a section of pipe to form the tank-cooled type cylinder. The cooling tank located at the rear has been labeled "CASE."


The gas engine area at Mt. Pleasant also had three interesting engines of Hercules origin. Shown below is engine number 52047. It is an early model E Economy with the tag located on the base below the igniter area.

Engine number 361896 is a l 3/4 HP model S Economy with the typical Hercules shape water hopper. This is normal for Economy engines near this serial number. I do wonder about the beautiful bright yellow color!


Engine number 311743 is a 2 HP red engine labeled "HERCULES". Closer inspection reveals it to be a 2 HP Jaeger. Note the vertical threaded fuel spout and the small brace to steady the oiler pipe. A 2 HP engine of this style with no model letter on the tag is always a Jaeger.

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