June 4, 1876

On June 4, 1876, an express train, called the Transcontinental Express, arrived in San Francisco 83 hours and 39 minutes (3 days and 12 hours) after leaving New York City. To put this in perspective, the wagon trains of the 1840s and 1850s, with good weather, would take about five months to make the 2,000 mile journey from Missouri to California. On horseback, it would take a man 70 to 80 days to go from New York City to San Francisco. This express train had just done something no one had thought possible. This was science fiction for the time. A machine made a journey in 3 and a half days, that in the very recent past would have taken a solitary man and animal 70 to 80 days and a family in a wagon train about 6 months to cross that 3,000 miles. So, when you are sitting at your computer playing a video game that people in the 1920s would swear was witchcraft, people in 1876 had their own incredible technology moment, when a train made a trip in 3 days that had until recently taken anywhere from 70 days to 6 months.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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