Learn All About Horsepower

In the eighteenth century, before all of the modern conveniences we know today, horses did a tremendous amount of manual labor. They were used to work farm fields, as transportation, and they hauled heavy coal from the mines. They were effective at their jobs, but just as all living creatures, they had their limitations. Weather conditions, hunger and thirst, sickness and fatigue were all factors that influenced a horse's performance.

James Watt, a Scottish engineer, invented a new steam engine that could do the work of the common horse and do it more efficiently and reliably. Though Watt knew that his engines would be a great asset to coal mine owners, he needed a marketing idea to convince them. He studied the work load of horses in the coal mines and determined that they were able to move 33,000 pounds of coal one foot per minute. He had finally found his marketing hook.

He took this information and was able to show mine owners that his steam engine could save them time and money. Today, his unit of measurement is still used to compare engines. It is an effective way for consumers to understand the power of the vehicle they are interested in purchasing before they even sit behind the wheel.

To learn more about the history of the horsepower and why it is still important today, visit Belk Ford Inc. right here in Oxford, MS.

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