3 Apr: Here Comes The Pony Express

Before the transcontinental telegraph, sending a message coast-to-coast in the United States could take up to a month via stagecoach. Until, that is, the opening of the Pony Express, on April 3, 1860.

Its founders, William H. Russell, William Bradford Waddell and Alexander Majors, set up over 150 relay stations along a pioneer trail, recruiting wiry teenage lone riders (‘orphans preferred’) to make the precarious trek in a record-breaking ten days. 

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal the employment clauses insisted upon by these entrepreneurs; consider how Buffalo Bill Cody enshrined the concept in the American frontier myth for generations; and explain why, if you thought a job as a mailman sounded risky, you *really* wouldn’t want to be posted at the relay stations…

Further Reading:

• ‘The Pony Express Was Short-Lived And Costly’ (Smithsonian Magazine, 2015): https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/pony-express-was-short-lived-and-costly-180954986/

• ‘Pony Express Debuts’ (HISTORY, 2009): https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pony-express-debuts

• ‘Trailer: The Pony Express’ (Paramount, 1953):

#1800s #US #Animals