Pony Express for Fun and Profit

Le Poney Express Wild West Poster
Advertising poster for a Paris appearance of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.
Courtesy Library of Congress

As colorful Mark Twain and Sir Richard Burton's observations on the Pony Express were, the impact of "Roughing It" on enshrining the service in popular imagination paled in comparison to the impact of Buffalo Bill's Wild West shows.

The story of the Pony Express, featuring courageous riders and swift horses, was a feature of William F. Cody's (a.k.a. Buffalo Bill) Wild West shows from the very beginning. Cody and his riders emblazoned the rider's deeds throughout the shows' extraordinarily successful and popular 30-year run. The Wild West and Rough Riders Wild West shows toured the U.S. and even Europe, reviving the Pony Express story and transforming it into legend for new generations.