The Thought I Woke Up With #228

Speed of Communication

How’s this for a Job Vacancy advertisement:

WANTED – Young, Skinny, Wiry Fellows. Not over eighteen. Must be willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. Wages $25 per week.

That was the Pony Express looking for riders back in the 1860. Political correctness certainly wasn’t in play there. Refreshing isn’t it. Imagine getting that through these days.

Not sure how this topic popped into mind but then I’m not sure how a lot of stuff pops into mind. Not that it matters really.

I used to be a huge American West fan as a kid, and later, so that’s probably the reason for the topic. Reason aside, the Pony Express organisation is an interesting story.

William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody, was Pony Express’ most famous rider, however it should go without saying that every young man jumping into the saddle and riding at breakneck speed through terrain that could at best be described as ‘unfriendly’ was as brave as they come, and perhaps just a little on the wild/crazy side.

Before taking to the saddle, the riders were presented with a ‘special edition bible’ and required to take and sign an oath that read— I, , do hereby swear, before the Great and Living God, that during my engagement, and while I am an employee of Russell, Majors, and Waddell, I will, under no circumstances, use profane language, that I will drink no intoxicating liquors, that I will not quarrel or fight with any other employee of the firm, and that in every respect I will conduct myself honestly, be faithful to my duties, and so direct all my acts as to win the confidence of my employers, so help me God.

The oath was complements of Alexander Majors, one of the three founders who was clearly a religious man. Perhaps the good Mr Majors should have taken the oath himself, as he did not end up so well.

Pony Express went bankrupt due to the advent of technology; railroads and telegraphs, that is. Some 30 years later Buffalo Bill found his former boss, ‘old, ill and penniless’ in Colorado.

He took Majors on as part of the Cody Wild West show and had him live at his Rest Ranch for a time.

How times have changed. At the time of the Pony Express, it covered the distance between St. Joe Missouri and Sacramento, California, a distance of about 2000 miles, in 10 days or so. Revolutionary at the time. These days we have emails crossing the Atlantic just a tad quicker. Amazing.

Can you just imagine what things will be like, what communication and technology will be like, in five years from now? Yet alone 50, 60 years from now?

Mind boggles.

Until tomorrow,


The Thought I Woke Up With #228

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