On April 3, 1860 at 7:15 p.m. (that’s 150 years ago), the first Pony Express rider left St. Joseph, Missouri. It would take 10 days to delivery a letter to San Francisco. Mail service was provided two days/week: Wednesdays and Saturdays. New York to St. Joseph was the first leg of this delivery system and messages were sent by telegraph and only took a few minutes. The remainder of this mail route was another story.
Each express station was about 20 miles apart, and the rider would usually change horses at each station. At every third station (that’s 60 miles), carrying a mail pouch and a revolver, a new rider on a fresh horse would take over and continue the journey west. A one-half ounce letter cost $1.00. After telegraph wires reached California 18 months later, the Pony Express “rode off” into history.
That was then; what about now? Even our earlier air mail service is now out of date; e-mail is the prefered mail system of the current generation. I wonder what the next “mail” service will look like? Any ideas?