History of a stagecoach

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Travelling by closed, wheeled, horse-drawn vehicles called stagecoaches was  extremely popular in the 19th century, both among aristocrats and common people. The diaries of the 18th and 19th century travellers are full of impressions of a journey and descriptions – sometimes very precise – of towns, overnight stops and meals.

The 19th century stagecoaches, post-chaises or omnibuses could take varied number of passengers – from 6 to even 24 people. Such a high spread also applied to the comfort of a journey. The aristocracy travelled in far better conditions  than minor gentry and clerks, travelling in official matters.

The time of the travel varied, depending mostly on the kind and quality of roads and on the timetable of a given carrier. Going highroad 12 metres wide – there were also roads 9 meters wide and side paths with the  width of 3,5 metres – it took the stagecoach an hour to cover 2 miles (15 km).

To make a journey, the contemporary traveller had to buy a ticket first and bundle his luggage which had to be no heavier than 20-25 kg. The numbered seats were taken according to the order of tickets sale. The postillion made sure he will be on time  because he had to pay out of his pocket for a delay.  On the way, the stagecoach stopped at post stations where the passengers could have a meal or stay overnight.

That`s the way people travelled from one post station to another, from Warsaw to Dresden, Riga and Moscow.