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The Pony Express
The Pony Express
On our field trip to Old Sacramento, I learned about the Pony Express. The Pony Express was a system to deliver mail in 10 days. The rides to deliver the mail were hard and dangerous. The men who rode the ponies were young. Working for the Pony Express was a big risk.
The Pony Express asked for skinny boys who were from the ages of 12 to 18 years old. They preferred orphans because if a boy died, then his parents wouldn’t be sad. Each boy was given a gun to defend himself because he would ride through dangerous Native American territory. They wore skin-tight clothes to reduce friction in order to move faster. The ponies wore mochilas, which carried up to 20 pounds of letters.
Each rider would ride his pony for 10 miles, and then he would stop at a station. At a station, the pony would be given water, and then another pony would replace it. That pony would ride 10 miles, and the process would keep repeating until the rider had ridden for 75 miles. After the rider rode 75 miles, he would stop at a home station to rest. A different rider would replace that rider, and the process would keep repeating until the mail was delivered to its destination.
Later, the telegraph was invented. The telegraph sent messages faster than the Pony Express. At the time the Pony Express was losing money because it was too costly. It also didn’t improve transportation either. Two days later, the Pony Express was shut down. Even though the Pony Express was shut down, it was a memorable company that will be remembered in Californian history.
Article posted May 3, 2012 at 12:43 PM •
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