Cables, Clippers, and Pony Riders

By: Alexis Roberts and Ben Brown


In the 1840s and 1850s, Yankee navel yards began to produce new crafts called clipper ships. These ships sacrificed cargo room for speed and were able to transport small amounts of goods in short amounts of time. These ships faded away after steam boats were made better and able to carry more goods and, become more profitable. The Pony Express was established in 1860 to carry mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. The mail service collapsed after 18 months due to lack of profit.

  1. Cables, Clippers, and Pony Riders
    1. The cable is used for communication.
    2. Naval travel across the Atlantic Ocean.
    3. New faster American ships.
    4. The cargos lost space which gained them speed (carried tea)
    5. This didn’t last very long British won maritime dominance
    6. They sent the male westward on horse
    7. Began to send tapping messages (morse code), this became the way to communicate.

Stage coach rides were often rough and uncomfortable, Mark Twain describes the amount of dust kicked up as the coach rumbled down the road.

Samuel Morse, Born April 27, 1791 The man who invented Morse Code. Morse code became the main mode of communication over long distances, with cables being laid throughout the atlantic ocean to connect America to Europe. Morse code uses a system of electric pulses (long and short) to create the alphabet. We still use morse code to this day, naval ships transmit morse code. Morse code is where the famous SOS emergency call comes from.

Notable biographies . Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <>.

Primary Source!

Alexander Mackay, a gifted British journalist and barrister, published in 1894 a three-volume description of his American travels. It ranks as the finest work of its kind for the era. Liberal, sympathetic, and friendly, Mackay struck up enlightening conversations with the Americans, as the following passage attests. How mud logic was there in his prognosis of an East-West split? Why did a division not occur in actual practice?

Kennedy, David M, and Thomas A. Bailey. The American Spiriy. Volume 1. 1877. Web. 29 Oct. 2013. Page 310.


1) Naval travel drastically improved over a short period of time, what innovations helped improve the Naval travel, except?

A. Steam powered ships

B. Steel clad ocean liners

C. “Clipper” ships

D. Large cargo sailing ships.

2) Communications to the West were often hard and slow. One company sought to make mail travel quicker and more efficient, what was it called? How long did it last?

A. Mule Mail 24 months

B. The Pony Express 36 months

C. Mule mail 18 months

D. The pony Express 18 months

E. Mule Mail. 36 months

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