Hercules Gas Engine Company
San Francisco, California

Around the turn of the century there was a company located in San Francisco, California also called "Hercules Gas Engine Company."  There is no known relationship of this company with the Hercules Gas Engine Company of Evansville, Indiana.

Paul Katon of New Zealand writes the following about the San Francisco Company:

"Here is some info I got out of the big yellow book (Stationary Gas Engines by C.H. Wendel) so it is  maybe old news. When I first got this engine I read every page that had an engine made in San Fancisco and I came across Palmer & Rey page #377 and read, "in june 1891 George Hoyt applied for letters patent on a governing device working on the exhaust valve" which decribed the same as mine except mine works on the inlet valve. Patent # 502255 was granted July 25, 1893 and this # & date is one of several cast on the side of my engine. On September 6, 1892 the company filed for protection of `Hercules' `Improved Hercules' & `New Hercules' trademarks for there engines. Also while cleaning my engine on the under side of the exhaust valve access plate is cast the letters P&R and somthing else that I can't make out. So I would say Palmer & Rey & Hercules gas engine works are one and the same.  On page # 228 under Hercules gas engine works it says that after 1907 the Peerless motor company would build the Hercules engines & little is heard of Hercules after this time."

Click on picture for a larger view.

 Paul Katon SF Hercules1.jpg (21133 bytes) Paul Katon SF Hercules2.jpg (30266 bytes) Paul Katon SF Hercules3.jpg (31169 bytes) Paul Katon SF Hercules4.jpg (43373 bytes) Paul Katon SF Hercules5.jpg (25997 bytes)
 5 H.P. S.N.5553, Bore 5" Stroke 8''
hit&miss by holding the inlet valve closed
Igniter fired battery& coil fuel L.P.G.
year 1898

This beautiful engine is owned by:
Paul Katon
43 Cardigan Bay Rd.
Mataura Southland, New Zealand


Paul Katon SF Hercules6.jpg (36699 bytes) Paul Katon SF Hercules7.jpg (30943 bytes) Paul Katon SF Hercules8.jpg (34520 bytes)
Here are some more pictures of Paul's Hercules
engine.  It is running at it's first show.
SF Hercules4.jpg (40198 bytes) SF Hercules5.jpg (40910 bytes) SF Hercules6.jpg (35191 bytes)
Hercules Engine, built by the Hercules Gas Engine Works, San Francisco USA.
With a serial No. 6028, it has a bore of 8", stroke of 10" flywheel diameter of
39.5" and width of 3.75". All the information we can find out here in Australia is
that it was built during or before 1907.

Owned by a friend of Owen Langburne of Australia owen_lang@tsn.cc .
If you know anything else about this engine please contact Owen at the above address.

Kenny Wolfs SF Hercules.jpg (98295 bytes)
This engine is owned by Kenny Wolf of Peru, Indiana. 
The picture provided by Ted Brookover ignitors@earthlink.net  
More of Kenny's collection of engines can be found at:
SanFrancisco Hercules Factory.jpg (134753 bytes)
Here is a postcard of early San Francisco.  On the side of
the building on the left hand side of the card about mid-way
up the card it says "The Hercules Gas Engine Works
Gas, Gasoline, & Oil Engines 2 H.P. to 500 H.P."
  I don't
know if this is the actual factory or just advertising painted
on the side of the building.  It is a large file but I thought
you would want the clarity.
Headless Engine_1.jpg (24895 bytes) Headless Engine_2.jpg (26250 bytes) Headless Engine_3.jpg (33198 bytes)
Paul sends this picture of the "Headless Hercules."
Paul writes: "Heres some more pics of an Hercules engine made in San Francisco.
This engine closely ressembles the Peerless engine made by the Peerless Motor Co.
Lansing, Michigan shown on page 386 of Wendel's book. I'd say this engine
would be about 1907 or there abouts. This engine was saved from the scarp yard
by a fellow collector."

Does anyone know where a head can be found?????

Paul Katon
43 Cardigan Bay Rd.
Southland, New Zealand


Jim Davies SFHercules_3.jpg (27239 bytes) Jim Davies SFHercules_1.jpg (39047 bytes) Jim Davies SFHercules_2.jpg (36619 bytes)
Paul Kayton sends these photos and information from
his friend Jim Davies of Auckland New Zealand. 
Jim writes: "I believe it came to New Zealand second hand with some
people  who migrated from Holland about 1938. When I came across it,
a sadder engine would be hard to find. The owner lived up in Kaitaia,
Northland and when he contacted me he offered to dig it out from the stop
bank where he buried it 20 years ago. Many parts I had cast or repaired.
Unfortunately he used one of the flywheels to moor his boat.
When we lifted the wheel up it was to far gone so down it went again.
So far I have yet to find another".

Te Atatu south
New Zealand

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