Posted by Wes on October 14, 2004
When I was in the Navy I was told that the phrase "Going Balls Out" referred to the govenor of the steam engins. Two heavy balls that spun related to the speed of the engin. As the speed increased the balls would tend to go outward farther. Connected to a steam valve they would regulate the engin speed. When set for Maximum RPM the balls would be straight out.
The term "Going Balls to the Wall" was to indicate that the engin was running so fast the govenor balls broke loose and were flung to the wall.