History of the US’s First “Fast” Delivery Route

Posted on October 24, 2012


If you wanted a fast means of communication with California in the 1860’s, the Pony Express was your answer.  MarketMAPS takes a look at America’s first “fast” delivery route. 

Image via transamericaelectricbiketour.com

With the discovery of gold in California back in 1848, thousands of prospectors headed out west to find their fortunes.  By the 1850’s, California’s population had grown to 380,000.  The US needed an expedient way to communicate with the newest state in the union.


Image via ponyexpressnevada.com

William Russell, Alexander Majors and William Waddell offered a solution many thought was impossible.  They started the Pony Express, which used horseback riders rather than stagecoaches to deliver letters from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California in 10 days.  The price for sending mail with the Pony Express in 1860 was $5 for a half-ounce.


Image via 3.bp.blogspot.com

In 1860 there were about 157 Pony Express stations positioned about 10 miles apart.  At each station, riders would exchange their tired horse for a fresh one, taking only their mail pouch with him.  This is how the Pony Express made such fast deliveries.


Image via ponyexpressdoc.com

Pony Express riders (including perhaps the most famous rider, Buffalo Bill) used detailed maps to delivery mail in record times.  Today, businesses still use maps to create efficient delivery routes.  Of course, modern maps have much higher levels of detail and precision.


If you are looking for a way to design quick, efficient, and money-saving delivery routes, contact MarketMAPSWe publish the most complete selection of maps for anywhere in the US and the world.  Our maps offer complete street details, and we can even create custom maps that display locations, drive times, distances, and more.


Contact MarketMAPS today.  Our map books, wall maps, and digital maps can help you better manage your deliveries


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