The Pony Express

Yesterday, 03Apr, a day that should be remembered was overlooked in all the chaos and confusion around Covid-19….I am here to help solve that problem.

160 years ago a new mode of mail delivery began….it was the Pony Express…..a unique way of sending a letter West…..

Pony Express summary: Three men in the mid-1800s had an idea to open up a mail delivery system that reached from the Midwest all the way to California. The lack of speedy communication between the mid-west and the west was accentuated by the looming threat of a civil war. Russell, Waddell and Majors designed a system that spanned a number of over one hundred stations, each approximately two hundred forty miles long, across the country.

The Pony Express employed about eighty deliverymen and had around four hundred to five hundred horses to carry these riders from one post to the next. Monthly pay for these riders was fifty dollars, which were good wages at the time. Although this method of carrying mail was dangerous and difficult, all save one delivery made it to their destination.

This new way of mail delivery carried mail between Missouri and California in the span between ten and thirteen days, an astonishing speed for the time. Nineteen months after launching the Pony Express, it was replaced by the Pacific Telegraph line. The Pony Express was no longer needed. While it existed, the Pony Express provided a needed service but it was never quite the financial success it was hoped to be. The founders of the Pony Express line found that they were bankrupt.

Even though the Pony Express Company was no longer operating, its logo lived on when Wells Fargo purchased it and used it from 1866 until 1890 in their freight and stagecoach company.

Pony Express

There are a few things about the Pony Express that most Americans do not know….like there was a weight limit for riders……

As unique as the Pony Express seemed to be it was not the first to employ the use of riders to deliver the mail…….that privilege belong to the Persians in 500 BCE……..

In Ancient Persia, during the period of 550 BC to 521 BC, a true postal system was developed in Assyria. It is disputed whether it was Cyrus the Great or his successor Darius I, who was responsible. The postal system of Persia was operated by a series of stations. Each man would ride to the next station, where a fresh horse was waiting. When he reached the end of his shift, a fresh man would also be waiting, keeping the mail moving constantly towards its destination.

Early History of Postal Systems

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5 thoughts on “The Pony Express

  1. They probably did better than our Post Office at the moment. It is taking much longer than normal to get any post delivered.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Lol – In the past UKMail has been overtaken by our German Deutsche Post AG. I am right? 😉 But as i’d sent you the letter it was fast as hell. Never thought they would did it under one week. Michael

      1. Here too, Pete! One has to be thankful letters will at least arrive. Have a nice rest of the evening. Need to read your last postings asap. Michael

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