Horsepower

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Into the stretch, coming round the bend they’re neck and neck. Wait!  Out of nowhere “It’s a fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a Hearty Hi-Yo Silver . . .”

It’s a Garrison finish, a spectacular come-from-behind victory at the last possible moment, against all odds!  Shades of old Snapper Garrison, a 19th century American jockey, known for winning in this manner.

A real show of horsepower. That’s what it is!  Thanks to one James Watt, whose name adorns our monthly electric bills as watts, kilowatts, and wattage for which we pay handsome premiums.

It’s he who also provided the standard for our cars, coining the term  horsepower to indicate the output of his new steam engine —  a unit of rate of work equal to the raising of 3,300 pounds one foot high in one minute.

Watt arrived at his figure by calculating that a strong dray horse averaged 2,200 foot-pounds per minute working at a gin. He then increased it by 50%, arriving at 3,300 foot-pounds which ever since has equaled one horsepower or 745.7 watts.

“Who was that Horse?  Who was that masked man?”

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