Stagecoach Transportation

By: Danielle Korsmo

Advantages

  • Usable in harsh weather/ attacks

  • Safer than traveling alone

  • Convenient

  • Regular stops/meals

  • Continued day and night


Traveling by stagecoaches was a very easy and convenient way to get places back then. It was also much safer to travel with other people (like a stagecoach) compared to traveling alone. Native American attacks rarely took place, and didn't cause a problem. Another problem avoided by stagecoaches was the harsh weather in which most travelers would not have been able to continue their journey. Stagecoaches were usable in these weather conditions, one of many reasons that made them popular. The passengers aboard these vehicles didn't have to worry about going hungry because they made regular stops to eat, go to the bathroom, and stretch their legs. The stagecoaches continued night and day, so naturally they made better time than most travel.

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Disadvantages


  • Uncomfortable

  • Slept sitting up

  • Had rules; no smoking, cursing, drinking, resting your head on another passenger

  • Little leg room

  • Bumpy


Though stagecoaches were an efficient way to travel, they were extremely uncomfortable. The interior was small and squished, especially when holding 9 people. Little to no leg room was to be spared. The bumpy trails and undeveloped technology made the carriage rock up and down, throwing the passengers. Lack of room and uncomfortable conditions made sleeping near impossible. If a passenger were to sleep, it would be sitting upright, and although passengers often rested their heads on another's shoulder, it was considered impolite. The stagecoaches also had a few rules, like smoking, cursing, and drinking were prohibited in the presence of a lady, but were used as entertainment for when it was allowed.

History

The name “stagecoaches “ comes from the term stage, in which they called the route between two stations. Between California and Kansas, over 150 stations were operating at one point in time. Stations were often located 15 miles apart. A stagecoach, which could carry passengers, freight, and profitable government mail contracts, would make regular stops at stations to stop and stretch or to stay overnight. A “swing” station was used mainly to stretch out and change drivers. A “home” station was a more established station to stay overnight and provided food for the passengers.


The Concord stagecoaches were the most popular and most used for passengers. This was because they were built more for comfort and minimized the bumpiness of the coach. These stagecoaches had 3 benches and fit 9 passengers. They also allowed people to ride on top. Though they were more luxurious of stagecoaches, there was still little space to spare and were cramped.


Stagecoaches started being built in the 1920’s, though didn’t become popular for passenger traveling until 1890-1915. They were, however, used as mail delivery in the 1850’s. The usage of stagecoaches decreased after the Transcontinental railroad was built, and was abandoned after the automobile was invented. It is now used occasionally as part of tourist attractions and sites.
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How it impacted North Dakota

Stagecoaches played a significant role in transporting people to the Dakota territory. They were used to convey passengers and baggage to parts of the Dakota that steamboats couldn't get to. This made steamboats popular and convenient, and started showing up more not only in North Dakota, but other parts of the Midwest too.
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Inventors

In America, Concord started making stagecoaches in 1827. As they became more popular, more companies, like the Abbot Downing Company and the Minnesota Stage Company, started producing stagecoaches.
"The Making of a Stagecoach Photo Shoot: Building the Coach"