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Widely used before the introduction of railway transport, it made regular trips between stages or stations, which were places where the coach's horses would be replaced by fresh horses.The business of running stagecoaches or the act of journeying in them was known as staging.
The riders were frequent targets for robbers, and the system was inefficient.
Palmer made much use of the "flying" stagecoach services between cities in the course of his business, and noted that it seemed far more efficient than the system of mail delivery then in operation.
In addition to the 'stage driver' who guided the vehicle, a 'shotgun messenger', armed with a coach gun, often rode as a guard beside him.
The stagecoach traveled at an average speed of about five miles per hour, with the total daily mileage covered being around 60 or 70 miles.
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.
The stagecoach was a four-wheeled vehicle pulled by horses or mules.
The primary requirement was that it was used as a public conveyance, running on an established route and schedule.
The term 'stage' originally referred to the distance between stations on a route, the coach traveling the entire route in 'stages', but through metonymy it came to apply to the coach.