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Old 08-15-2017, 02:26 PM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2,172
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I learned that stagecoaches were a major technological development.

The old system of traveling by horse and wagon had been around for thousands of years. You have a wagon and a team of horses and you'd hitch your horses to your wagon. Then that team of horses would pull the wagon until you arrived at your destination. Because that one team was making the whole trip, you had to maintain a slow pace so they wouldn't get exhausted.

A team of horses could pull a wagon at a much faster pace but they could only maintain that pace for about twelve miles. So somebody had a bright idea: what if you just switched teams of horses every twelve miles?

Companies designed wagons so that you could change the team of horses in under ten minutes. Then they would build a series of stops along the route every twelve miles, each with teams of horses ready. The coaches would just race between them, stop at each station, quickly change teams, and get back on the route.

Even with the frequent stops, stagecoach travel tripled the speed a passenger could travel.
Do I take it that that's the reason for the expression stage-coach (which I'd never particularly thought about before) -- the doing of the journey in successive twelve-mile stages?