Pony Express

The “Pony Express” – many have heard of it, but the name truly outlived the business. The business model for speedy mail delivery with ponies between the Midwest and California began as a business in the mid-1800’s,  while attempting to maintain efficiency  & the safety of information moving through the Civil War.  People were thronging to California fast and the need for express mail was evident. Three men produced Leavenworth & Pike’s Peak Express Company which was later known as the Pony Express. Hundreds of horses and approximately 80-100 men were recruited. The company would offer $50 a month and expect the delivery to take ten to thirteen days spanning about 2,000 miles, a tall order considering the conditions of war. Months into the beginning of Pony Express the government subsidized the building of a transcontinental telegraph line which was completed by The Western Union Telegraph Company. According to History.com “On this day in 1861, workers of the Western Union Telegraph Company link the eastern and western telegraph networks of the nation at Salt Lake City, Utah, completing a transcontinental line that for the first time allows instantaneous communication between Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Stephen J. Field, chief justice of California, sent the first transcontinental telegram to President Abraham Lincoln, predicting that the new communication link would help ensure the loyalty of the western states to the Union during the Civil War.” Now that San Francisco was in direct contact with New York City via the telegraph line, after only 19 months in business, the Pony Express was no more. The ways that we send information have been ever changing from generation to generation and the internet could be considered the new telegraph line but mail still exists!