In the history of thermodynamics, mechanical energy is a term used to refer to the act of raising 772-pounds through a height of one foot. [1] The term is a near synonym to those of mechanical action, mechanical effect, and mechanical work. The term was first used in 1859 by Scottish engineer William Rankine.

1. Rankine, William. (1859). A Manual of the Steam Engine and Other Prime Movers, (chapter III: “Principles of Thermodynamics”, pgs. 299-478). London: Charles Griffin and Co.

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