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Coach life

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The Concord coach was the plane, train, and automobile of nineteenth-century America. Ben Holladay used them for his Overland Stage Route to California, later absorbed by Wells Fargo. These sturdy little carriages—named after Concord, New Hampshire, where they were designed—could withstand terrain so rugged it would scare the gnarliest SUV. They connected America in the days before railroads and highways and airports, when traveling from one side of the country to the other took weeks, not hours. What distinguished the Concord coach was its superior suspension: strips of leather called “thorough-braces” suspended the carriage and allowed it to rock back and forth, absorbing the shocks of the road.

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