This invention of necessity to speed up the mails (The Pony Express) was only in exitsence for about eighteen months until no longer needed because of the telegraph. I was thinking about this during the writing of the last post, which mentioned St. Joe, MO, briefly. I took the little side tour a few years ago through the Pony Express Museum with my wife's nephew who lived there. The Express served a meaningful purpose and a useful but short life. The trail was almost 2,000 miles to California with almost 200 way stations and I guess that Buffalo Bill (William Cody) still holds the record for the longest ride between two points, riding 322 miles in 21 hours, forty minutes, although Jack Keetley did about the same thing riding 340 miles in thirty-one hours. Some of the other riders were: Johnny Fry, William Upson, James Randall (the first rider going east from San Francisco to Sacramento - by boat), and "Pony Bob" Haslam (Robert Haslam), who holds the record for the fastest ride (120 miles in 8 hours and 20 minutes) and got wounded by an arrow on the way. (Source: Wikipedia.)
John Wayne's eye patch from True Grit is going up for auction in LA October 3-6, 2011, as reported by Reuters, along with some personal items, e.g., cowboy boots, hats, etc.