Menu

Earth Lab

What is horsepower?

Most of us have heard the term ‘horsepower’, but what exactly does it mean?

Way back in the Industrial Revolution, before combustion engines were invented, heavy-duty work was completed by work horses, so what a better way to measure the amount of work you needed to do than by the number of horses it would take to complete it?

BBC Earth Lab’s Greg Foot takes you through the historical significance and modern uses of the well-known expression.

Horsepower

BBC Earth delivered direct to your inbox

Sign up for hand-selected playlists, topical articles and the very best from the BBC Earth community. Never miss a moment.

Sign up to receive news, updates and exclusives from BBC Earth and related content from BBC Studios by email. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Keep Exploring