1851, Postal Museum
The Concord Mail Coach connected a growing nation
In 1827, wheelwright Lewis S. Downing and coach builder
J. Stephen Abbot debuted the luxury ride of their time. Crafted from white oak and ash, the sturdy stagecoaches were brightly painted, lined with leather and damask, and could be crammed with mailbags and as many as 20 people. A novel suspension smoothed the way for horses and passengers alike—“an imposing cradle on wheels,” Mark Twain called the conveyance. More than 1,700 were built before the automobile made them obsolete in the early 20th century.