Power is the primary difference between ancient and modern times as well as between poor and rich modern nations. Man even with advent of civilization was limited by the power of his mussles. Thus the primary addition to the power available to man was animal power, most notably that of the horse. The horse was domesticated about 6,000-5,000 BC, That means for over 6 millenia, the horse abnd to a lesser extent other animals like oxen were the primary source of power available to humans. There were a few other sources such as sail and waterwheels, but these had limited applications. For most of society during the great extent of civilized history, the horse was the primary source of power. Different breads were bred for various purposes. The horse could be used for vastrious purposes and locations, both on land and away from rivers. Basically anywhere that man needed power. But the amount of power was limited to that if the horse. The Industrial Revolution (mid-18th century) changed this. Waterwheels which date to ancient times were used at first, but they were inadequate for the needs of manufacturers. Steam engines were the answer and powred factories for a century (19th centuries). This was the advent of hydro-carbons. Steam engimes were primarily fired by coal. Internal comustion engunes appears at the turn of the 20th centurry and added to the power available to man. They were powered bt another hydro-carbon--petroleum. And like the horse, the internal-combustion engine could carry many to virtually anyewhere on earth he cared to go. Many of these engines were enormously powerful, but the horse was so important and for such long periods that horse power was used as the metric to rate them.
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