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Trigger Mike

grease in the wheel of a stage coach

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i was watching "the Big Country" and they focus on the wheel of the stage coach and you can see smoke coming from the center. how often did they have to stop and add more grease to the wheel?

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My question is how long do the horses last. They seem to be running all the time.

I would guess that they would have had to rest them quite often. Maybe they grease

the wheels when they rest the horses?

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Horses were not run, and oxen or sometimes mules were used in the desert crossings on the Butterfield trail in this part of southern New Mexico. There is a term for the station hand that tended to the greasing at stage stops.... They were often referred to as greasers, and they were often Mexican, hence the derogatory term still around today.

The stage stop distances were based on climate, terrain and water, 40 miles would be a long stretch, hopefully flat country. High desert and the Rocky Mountain region stops were much nearer to one another.

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Horses were not run, and oxen or sometimes mules were used in the desert crossings on the Butterfield trail in this part of southern New Mexico. There is a term for the station hand that tended to the greasing at stage stops.... They were often referred to as greasers, and they were often Mexican, hence the derogatory term still around today.

The stage stop distances were based on climate, terrain and water, 40 miles would be a long stretch, hopefully flat country. High desert and the Rocky Mountain region stops were much nearer to one another.

Captain Clark,

I've only seen that "greaser" explanation in one obscure reference. Out of curiosity, where did you see it?

 

Cat Brules

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And in the old movies when the horses would run the wheels would spin backwards. ^_^

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And in the old movies when the horses would run the wheels would spin backwards. ^_^

That's because of the speed of the wheels spinning and the speed of the film running in the camera. The optical frequency would make the wheels appear to be spinning backwards...or were you joking :D

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I used to love that illusion when I was a kid... :)

 

It's actually called the "wagon wheel effect." ;)

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That's because of the speed of the wheels spinning and the speed of the film running in the camera. The optical frequency would make the wheels appear to be spinning backwards...or were you joking :D

 

 

I used to love that illusion when I was a kid... :)

 

It's actually called the "wagon wheel effect." ;)

 

Then there is this:

 

http://aviationhumor.net/when-you-synchronize-cameras-frame-rate-with-a-helicopters-blade-frequency/#

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That is cool. I'll bet if you posted this to CNN or MSNBC some Goomba would run with as an Alien Helicoptor Sighting or a new military aircraft...or somesuch nonsense.

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The wheels were spinning backwards to distribute the grease to the axles.

 

 

This also ran the odometer backward to make the coach more valuable at resale.

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Captain Clark,

I've only seen that "greaser" explanation in one obscure reference. Out of curiosity, where did you see it?

Cat Brules

I have seen it referenced only a couple of times myself, most notably in Waterman Ormsbeys book on the 1st thru passage on the Butterfield Overland route, which are actually his dispatches covering the trip west, to the newspaper he wrote for in St Louis? I believe. I have seen it mentioned in one other publication on the Butterfield, which is locked away in my books on the Butterfield. It is incredible country the trail passes thru here in the Southwest! I have traveled much of the trail from west Texas to Arizona. 40 miles in that desert during summer will kill horses,in shape or otherwise!

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Stations along the old Butterfield Line here are 12-15 miles apart

That's correct. Mesilla to the Rough and Ready Mts stop is at 13 miles. R&R Mts to Mason Draw is slightly over 10 As I recall,

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I have seen it referenced only a couple of times myself, most notably in Waterman Ormsbeys book on the 1st thru passage on the Butterfield Overland route, which are actually his dispatches covering the trip west, to the newspaper he wrote for in St Louis? I believe. I have seen it mentioned in one other publication on the Butterfield, which is locked away in my books on the Butterfield. It is incredible country the trail passes thru here in the Southwest! I have traveled much of the trail from west Texas to Arizona. 40 miles in that desert during summer will kill horses,in shape or otherwise!

 

Thanks very much. The only legitimate work where I've seen this "greaser," term referenced, is in a book called "Indian Slave Trade in the Southwest," by Lynn Bailey. I believe this was published sometime in the 1970s. In this book, the reference was to the French and Spanish influence in New Mexico, wherein virtual slaves of Indian and Spanish descent ("Mexicans") had to follow along next to two-wheel oxcarts and constantly apply some kind of organic grease to the axle and wheel assembly to keep the wheel and axle from burning up.

Edited by Cat Brules, SASS #14086

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That is cool. I'll bet if you posted this to CNN or MSNBC some Goomba would run with as an Alien Helicoptor Sighting or a new military aircraft...or somesuch nonsense.

Sssssmagic!!!

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Thanks very much. The only legitimate work where I've seen this "greaser," term referenced, is in a book called "Indian Slave Trade in the Southwest," by Lynn Bailey. I believe this was published sometime in the 1970s. In this book, the reference was to the French and Spanish influence in New Mexico, wherein virtual slaves of Indian and Spanish descent ("Mexicans") had to follow along next to two-wheel oxcarts and constantly apply some kind of organic grease to the axle and wheel assembly to keep the wheel and axle from burning up.

I believe I have seen that book in the Southwest collection at the Brannigan library in Las Cruces NM. Another good read regarding the Butterfield was done by George Hackler / The Butterfield Trail in New Mexico.

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This also ran the odometer backward to make the coach more valuable at resale.

That would only apply to resale, not so much on the smuggling market!, My grandfather had my dad and uncles tug a real Overland stage coach across the Rio Grande south of El Paso years ago! Not sure how he came across the coach, but it was authenticated and eventually went to California! Even today my mother speaks about the adventure in very hushed tones like the Mexicans are going to raid the house!

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That is cool. I'll bet if you posted this to CNN or MSNBC some Goomba would run with as an Alien Helicoptor Sighting or a new military aircraft...or somesuch nonsense.

 

 

It's more proof that helicopters can't fly - they are so ugly the Earth repels them.

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My question is how long do the horses last. They seem to be running all the time.

I would guess that they would have had to rest them quite often. Maybe they grease

the wheels when they rest the horses?

That's an observation most non-horse owners no longer make. Kudos, pard! Yes, one must consider that a horse is not a machine, and like any person, has to stop and rest, and get a drink of water every now and then. When Mrs. Cassidy and I are riding our horses, we water them every time we find a stream or puddle.

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In the 1880's the stagecoach from Edmonton to Calgary (200 miles) left Edmonton on a Monday and arrived Calgary on Thursday weather permitting, stopping over night. and for meals enroute. The run was on bald prairie. It works out to 50 miles per day.

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Hollywood is the only place the horses ran pulling the stagecoach. 10 miles was an average between horse changes. We have an original coach trail on our place where they came through. I did have an original jack made for lifting the corner of the wagon or coach to be able to get the wheel off. And,the only way the wheels would come off while in motion would be if you drove it backwards quite a distance. The nuts on the right are a right hand thread and on the left a left hand thread.

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From our friends at WikPedia

 

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

 

Along the many stage routes, stations were established about every 12 miles that included two types of stations -- "swing" and "home." As the stage driver neared the station, he or she would blow a small brass bugle or trumpet to alert the station staff of the impending arrival.

 

The larger stations, called "Home Stations," generally ran by a couple or family , were usually situated about 50 miles apart and provided meager meals and overnight lodging to passengers. Often; however, "lodging" was no more than a dirt floor.

 

The more numerous "swing" stations, generally run by a few bachelor stock tenders, were smaller and usually consisted of little more than a small cabin and a barn or corral. Here, the coach would stop only about ten minutes to change the team and allow passengers to stretch before the coach was on its way again.

 

At one time, more than 150 stations were situated between Kansas and California.

 

And from Wells Fargo site:

 

http://wellsfargohistory.com/resources/stagecoach_brochure.pdf

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I'd been told Standard Oil Mica Grease was just the berries for such bearings.

This is strictly hearsay and I have no provenance, just the word of an old man I trust.

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