An Idea Whose Time Had Come

“By the fall of 1859, though, the ‘Pony Express’ increasingly looked like an idea whose time had come. The opening of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad that February brought the rails across the state of Missouri as far as the Missouri River. The telegraph, invented just fifteen years earlier by Samuel F.B. Morse, now also reached St. Joseph. But west of St’ Joseph there were neither railroads nor telegraph lines. It was understood that both would be extended eventually; but in the meantime the need to speed communication to California was urgent.”