My Jaeger hit and miss engine as found in Oswego, NY had concrete on the flywheels, but remarkably had much of its original paint and decals. This engine is very similar to an Economy and was made by the Hercules Gas Engine Company for Jaeger.
Email comments from: Hank Wessel firstname.lastname@example.org
Archive-Date: Wed, 14 Jun 1995 06:53:53 EST
The Hercules Buggy Company (Evansville, Indiana) entered the gas engine
business in 1912 by purchasing the Holmes Machine Company in Sparta,
Michigan and became the Hercules Gas Engine Company. Their engines were
sold under a variety of names including Hercules, Economy, Jaeger, Arco,
and others. The earliest were manufactured in Sparta. Later operations
were moved to Evansville. Some were made in Canada under license to a
company in Quebec and sold under the name Forano.
There were several different series of engines manufactured over the
years. HP ranged from 1-1/2 to 12 (or 14). Within each series the
engines were nearly identical except for physical size.
The various brands differed only in cosmetics. The Hercules and
Forano had an oval opening in the water hopper and the corners of the
hopper were rounded off while these features on the Economy and others
were more rectangular.
I believe Hercules engines were made up thru the 1930's and sold by Sears
under the Economy name for much of this period. In 1934, Sears began to
sell an entirely different Economy engine line this time made in
Freeport, Illinois by Stover. This engine remained in the Sears line
until Stover closed shop in the early 1940's. In 1942 Sears began to
sell the Cushman Cub under the economy name.
There was also a kerosene version of the Hercules/Economy engines which I
think was sold under the name Thermoil.
Although the smaller Hercules/Economy engines are quite common, they
become increasingly rare in the larger (7hp - 9hp - 12 hp) sizes. There
is a registry of 12 hp Economy engines and the last I heard they were only
25 or 30 currently known to be in the hands of collectors. The 9 hp
model was made in somewhat larger numbers than the 12 hp, but is still a
very uncommon engine.
-- Hank email@example.com
My Jaeger after a cleanup:
The original paint and decal cleaned up so well, I think I'll paint the flywheels and timing gear black and leave the rest alone. I replaced the lower babbit shells in the crank bearings and it is running fine now. A new gasoline tank under the frame and it will be ready to show.
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