Hercules Gas Engine Company
Predecessor Hercules Buggy Company
Founded 1912
Founder(s) William McCurdy
Defunct 1934
Headquarters Evansville, Indiana, USA
Products engines
Hercules engine at Bakewell 08 - P8070402

A Hercules engine at a UK show

Hercules Gas Engine Company was formed on November 8, 1912, by William McCurdy of the Hercules Buggy Company. In 1913 construction of new factory buildings began for engine production.


The origins of the Hercules Gas Engine Company, begin in 1902 even though engines were not produced until January 1914. In 1902, William McCurdy, a manufacturer of buggies, moved his successful Brighten Buggy Company to Evansville, Indiana, USA, from Cincinnati, Ohio. He moved the company to take advantage of the plentiful supply of skilled labour and the hardwood needed to build them in the Evansville area. The relocated business was named the Hercules Buggy Company and started production in 1903. The reasons for the name change are unknown.

The Hercules Buggy Company built many buggies, with 90,000 being the peak annual production. William McCurdy developed a very close relationship with the Sears Roebuck company. In 1912 Sears was having problems with engines supplied by its own manufacturing department and suggested to William McCrurdy that he should manufacture engines for them. The first engines were built in 1913.

Final assembly of gas engines came to a halt in early 1934, with the last castings being made in mid-October 1933. In the 20 years that it was in business, some 400,000 engines were produced, ranking it among the top producers of gas engines during that 20-year period.

The companies engines were sold under a number of different brands. Gas engines manufactured by the Hercules Engine Company were branded with the name "Jeager" and installed as the powerplants in the Jeager Cement Mixers.

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A number of examples appear at UK shows but the vast majority were sold in the US market under several brand names.

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