One thing you'll usually see listed in the description of a new car is its horsepower. We've all heard the term horsepower before, but many drivers don't actually know what horsepower means or where it originated.
James Watt, an 18th-century steam engine designer, came up with the term as a way to sell more steam engines. He used the word "horsepower" to measure the engine's power in an attempt to impress his customers.
When Watt was working at a coal mine he often observed ponies. During this time he approximated that a typical pony could, in a single minute, do 22,000 foot-pounds of work. He increased it a little bit to 33,000 foot-pounds and named the unit "horsepower." Therefore, if a car has one horsepower, then it is equal to a pony that can pull 33 pounds of weight in a single minute.
Date Posted: January 11, 2018