The Hercules Gas Engine Company didn't happen by chance, nor was it started by a "wanta be" in the engine business. It was started by the request of people in charge of the Holm Machine Manufacturing Company of Sparta, Michigan. The Holm Company started manufacturing Economy engines in 1909 for Sears, Roebuck and Company. There were certain problems at Sparta that caused Sears, in early 1912, to search elsewhere for a suitable gas engine supplier. They contacted William McCurdy, who owned the Hercules Buggy Company. The buggy company was the major supplier of buggies that were sold through the Sears mail order catalogs.
By 1922, Hercules had grown into a variety of related companies, which were subsequently consolidated into the Hercules Corporation
. In 1927 the corporate structure changed again, with the overall company being renamed Servel Inc. Eventually Servel gave up the right to use the Hercules name on engines and left the exclusive use of the engine name to the Hercules Motor Company of Canton, Ohio.
The company went on to manufacture electric, gas, and even kerosene home refrigerators and was tremendously successful. During WWII it obtained numerous sub-contracts, one of them being wings for Republic Aviation's "Thunderbolt", a single-engine fighter which was very successful in Europe and the South Pacific.
After the war, Servel returned to refrigeration, having in the meantime developed electric and gas commercial refrigeration. The company had always distributed through gas and electric companies but in the 1950's the new president of the company, Paul Jones, decided to change. He developed the idea of independent dealers, spent millions of dollars trying to make it work, and forced the company into bankruptcy.Certificate:
Common Stock, specimen, mid 1900’sPrinter: American Bank Note Company Dimensions:
8” (h) x 12” (w)State: DE-Delaware Subject Matter: Engine Makers
| Aviation and Aerospace
| Home Appliances and Gadgets
| Specimen Pieces Vignette Topic(s): Male Subject
| Nude Subject Condition:
No fold lines, punch hole cancels in the signature areas and body, and some toning from age.