On April 3, 1860, the Pony Express mail service was born. Riders on horseback traveled between Saint Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California with stops across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada delivering mail, small packages and messages. The mail carriers stopped at relay stations each way to change riders and mount fresh horses.
During its 19 months of operation, the Pony Express reduced mail delivery time between the coasts by approximately 10 days. The successful relay, however, was short lived. On October 26, 1861, the Pony Express succumbed to the expanding railway and telegraph system cross the North American continent.