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A stagecoach is a type of four-wheeled closed coach used to carry passengers and goods inside.

It is strongly sprung and generally drawn by four horses, usually four-in-hand.

Without suspension, these coaches achieved very low speeds on the poor quality rutted roads of the time.

By the mid 17th century, a basic stagecoach infrastructure had been put in place.

Even more dramatic improvements were made by John Palmer at the British Post Office.

The postal delivery service in Britain had existed in the same form for about 150 years—from its introduction in 1635, mounted carriers had ridden between "posts" where the postmaster would remove the letters for the local area before handing the remaining letters and any additions to the next rider.

Under this staging system, the resting, watering and feeding of the spent horses would not delay the coach.

This system based on making fresh horses regularly available along a route had been in use by a number of different civilisations, going back at least as far as the ancient Romans.

This coach took an unprecedented three days to reach London with an average speed of eight miles per hour.His travel from Bath to London took a single day to the mail's three days.It occurred to him that this coach service could be developed into a national mail delivery service, so in 1782 he suggested to the Post Office in London that they take up the idea.Originating in England, familiar images of the stagecoach are that of a Royal Mail coach passing through a turnpike gate, a Dickensian passenger coach covered in snow pulling up at a coaching inn, and a highwayman demanding a coach to "stand and deliver".The yard of ale drinking glass is associated by legend with stagecoach drivers, though it was mainly used for drinking feats and special toasts.

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The riders were frequent targets for robbers, and the system was inefficient.

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