H69.2.7

late 19th c.
10.5 in WIDE x 1.75 in DEEP
(26.67 cm WIDE x 4.44 cm DEEP)
Museum Purchase
H69.2.7


w"Wells Fargo Express Co." sign. Description: patina surface, varnish puckered; hanging sign, dark grainy patina over varnished board, surface worn as are yellow letters, top frame board chipped near right hook eye, holes drilled through in upper right & left sides, back & frame painted black. From the History Information Station: Object: Large wooden sign, "Wells, Fargo & Co. Express." History: With thousands of forty-niners swarming over the foothills in search of gold, an urgent need developed for a reliable method of lending letters, parcels and gold. Before the development of regular postal service, privately-run express companies were the answer. Wells, Fargo and Co., founded in 1852, was the largest of these. It provided banking services in many Gold Rush towns; it operated stage lines for passengers from San Francisco to Marysville and Sacramento, and eventually over the Sierra as far as Salt Lake City; and it carried mail, freight and gold. It was the carrying of gold that Hollywood has turned into a legend, with bandits ordering the stagecoach driver to throw down the green box from under his seat.
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