Hercules Corporation, Evansville, Indiana, USA
Another company of the same name, which actually started several years before the British concern, but with no connection to the British company (nor the German one either, for that matter).
This maker originated in 1902 as the Hercules Buggy Co., founded by William McCurdy. They became the major supplier of buggies to Sears Roebuck & Co, the mail order company. At the same time, Sears’ supplier of gas engines was Holm Machine Manufacturing Co. There were some problems around that company, and Sears asked McCurdy if he could supply gas engines. The result was the Hercules Gas Engine Co., which was formed in late 1912 and began manufacturing engines during 1914.
Between 1920 and 1922 the two companies merged, with the result being the Hercules Corp. In about 1927 the company became Servel Inc., with the division for gasoline engines and related products using the name Hercules Enterprises, Inc.
At some point, Servel lost the right to use the Hercules name on engines to the Hercules Motor Co. of Canton, OH.
Hercules was known primarily as a maker of gasoline engines, but beginning in 1921 they also made drag saws; these continued until at least 1931. The saws, like the engines, were primarily sold through Sears. A later flyer shows a Hercules drag saw and a “cord wood saw” which was a large circular crosscut saw.
Thanks for text: The Old Woodworking Machines web site – http://www.owwm.com/home.aspx
Thanks for pictures: Keith Kinney’s Hercules Corp website – http://www.herculesengines.com/hercules/
‘Hercules Engine News’ was written by Glenn Karch