The Hercules brand name first appeared on a boiler in the
spring 1908 Sears catalog. Over the next 40 years, Hercules
became one of Sears' most widely used brand names and was
applied to products such as work clothing, appliances, and even
insurance (Hercules Life Insurance Company, owned by Sears).
Other Hercules-brand products included sewage systems,
letterman's jackets, and fire extinguishers.
The two products most closely tied to the Hercules name were
heavy-duty coveralls and home heating systems. The coveralls
apparently matched the strength of their mythical namesake, as
Sears offered a lifetime guarantee on them.
Sears sold Hercules work clothes for boys and women and
offered a complete line of Hercules uniforms. During World War
II, many women working at defense plants wore Hercules work
Sears introduced Hercules steam heating systems—advertised
as "heating plants"—at a time in American history
when many homeowners were replacing fireplaces and cast-iron
stoves with central heating sources. Hercules heating systems
were featured in many models of Sears Modern Homes (the line of
mail-order homes Sears sold from 1908 to 1940), but they could
also be purchased for installation in existing homes.
Hercules' last appearance in the Sears catalog was a cotton
bandana sold in the fall/winter 1964-1965 catalog.