How To Explain Horsepower

Horsepower is a familiar term when speaking about automobiles, trucks or any other type of engine. Most people have a general idea of what the word means. However, they may not know exactly what a particular amount of horsepower represents. Many more do not understand where the word originated from.

James Watt was an engineer who had invented a steam engine in the 1800's. James was trying to market his product to potential buyers and needed a way to explain what his product could do. Watt had observed horses working in the coal mines and estimated that they could each do roughly 22,000 pounds of work within one minute. He was able to apply this theory to his engines, therefore for coining the term "horsepower."

His theory asserts that a machine with one horsepower can pull 33 pounds of weight in 1 minute.

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