The Horsepower Map of the United States

Basically, the Rust Belt before it rusted.

Remember the days when progress was measured not in bandwidth, but in horsepower? Of course not; you're not 100 years old. And so you never pored over this map as an impressionable teenager. 


This Horsepower Map of the United States distorts the area of each state to reflect the amount of horsepower installed. Not actual horses, mind you — the year is 1933, not 1833 — but horsepower as a unit of measure for mechanical power (i.e., 1 hp = 746 watt) and ultimately industrial output.

What this cartogram shows, therefore, is where the industrial muscle of the U.S. was located back in the early 1930s. Basically, the Rust Belt before it rusted.

The attention is immediately drawn to Pennsylvania, so big and square that it looks like the very cornerstone of America's industrial might. Ohio and New York are the two other main powerhouses; and to a lesser extent Massachusetts (and the rest of the New England states) and Illinois (plus other states in the Midwest). 

The South and West are remarkably insignificant: Florida seems about the size of Vermont and Kentucky fits in Rhode Island twice; while California is smaller than New Jersey and Texas is outsized by Connecticut.

Some states are so tiny, horsepower-wise, that they're barely visible on the map. The combined industrial wattage of Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and North and South Dakota is still smaller than that of Maine.

As they say: The past is a different country. But so is the future. How will tomorrow's economic performance be measured? And where will America's muscles bulge?

Map found here on the excellent Making Maps blog.

Strange Maps #743

Got a strange map? Let me know at strangemaps@gmail.com

Big Think Edge
  • The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
  • Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
  • Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
Videos
  • Bad outcomes get criticized as evidence of bad decisions, but that's not necessarily so.
  • Here, poker pro Annie Duke desribes a simple thought experiment that separates decisions from outcomes.
  • It is quite possible to make a very good decision that, due to external factors, results in a bad outcome.


Decide to Play Great Poker: A Strategy Guide to No-Limit Texas Hold '’Em

www.amazon.com

Decide to Play Great Poker: A Strategy Guide to No-Limit Texas Hold '’Em [Annie Duke, John Vorhaus] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Ask the great poker players how they'd play a hand and the answer is always, It depends. That answer can be infuriating. But guess what? It really does depend. The key to becoming a great poker player is in knowing exactly what it depends on. At last there's a book that gives you that answer. Poker is a game of so many variables: table position

Racial purity is 'scientifically meaningless,' say 8,000 geneticists

American geneticists take a stand against the misuse of their science by racists.

Milk chugging white supremacists.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The largest society of geneticists decries the distortion of ideas by racists.
  • Science does not support the concept of race.
  • Race is a social construct, explain the scientists.
Keep reading Show less

To boost your self-esteem, write about chapters of your life

If you're lacking confidence and feel like you could benefit from an ego boost, try writing your life story.

Personal Growth

In truth, so much of what happens to us in life is random – we are pawns at the mercy of Lady Luck. To take ownership of our experiences and exert a feeling of control over our future, we tell stories about ourselves that weave meaning and continuity into our personal identity.

Keep reading Show less