Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wednesday in Wyoming -- September 4, 2013

Though it was only in existence for about a year and a half (April 1860 to October 1861), the Pony Express continues to be one of the iconic emblems of the American West. 

I knew about the riders and their frequent change of horses (approximately every ten miles, in case you were wondering) and the fact that the Pony Express was established to provide faster mail delivery to California, but until I visited the Historic Trails Museum in Casper, I didn't know how the mail was carried.  I had envisioned ordinary saddle bags, but instead each rider had a mochila (Spanish for pouch or backpack), which functioned a bit like a saddle blanket.  I don't know if all the mochilas were orange like this one, but I do know that they were critical to the success of the Pony Express.  Up to twenty pounds of mail were carried in the four locked corner pockets.

What caused the demise of the Pony Express?  A faster form of communication -- the telegraph.

No comments:

Post a Comment