Customers who are in the market for a new vehicle will likely hear about the horsepower of the engine. Most people know that greater horsepower is better than less, but not very many people know where the term originated or the exact calculation.

In a dark eighteenth century coal mine, inventor James Watt diligently watched work horses to measure their strength. They hauled coal out of the mine while Watt observed. After he had collected enough data, Watt determined that the average horse was able to move 33,000 pounds of coal a single foot in one minute. He called this unit of measurement the horsepower.

Watt used the term horsepower to advertise his new steam engine. He showed potential clients that they could replace their work horses with a steam engine that would, in time, pay for itself. Engines didn't need to sleep, eat or drink. They would not need breaks to rest and recoup and would only need occasional maintenance. The marketing tool worked and soon Watt's competitors used the term in their advertisements.

Horsepower became a household term that is still used today. Find out more about horsepower at Bill Summers Ford LLC right here in North Platte, NE.

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