How Did We Start Using the Term Horsepower?

The term horsepower is something that we have all grown accustomed to hearing when describing an automobile's engine power. But what exactly does that mean, and how did we end up with that as our unit of measurement for this?

The term horsepower was first coined by James Watt late in the 18th century. In order to better sell steam engines, he needed a point of reference. He figured that a mill-horse could move 22,000 foot-pounds per minute, and he then rounded that up to 33,000 to make it a conservative figure. Saying that his steam engine could produce an output of 33,000-foot-pounds was equal to 1 horsepower. We have been using the term ever since when it comes to describing engine displacement.

If you have any more questions about horsepower or any other auto-related terms or ideas, then give us a call here at Cawood Honda in Port Huron, MI!

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