This is so awesome:
“1894 found the United States in a deep depression. Unemployment was rampant, businesses were collapsing and crop value was dissolving back into earth.
Summer wage cuts at the Pullman rail car plant in Chicago, IL ignited the infamous Pullman Strike. Its battles and sympathizers echoed out across the plains, drawing in Eugene Debs, President Grover Cleveland, and the US Military, eventually reaching California and crippling rail service. No trains meant among other things, no mail.
In response, in July of 1894 a bicycle mail route was organized from Victor Cyclery in Fresno, CA north to the Overman Wheel Co. of San Francisco, CA. Totaling 210 miles, divided into 8 relays, and occupying 18 hours the route offered to carry a letter via bicycle from one end to the other for $0.25. “The only delay was an occasional punctured tire.”
We have created a commemorative patch, a replica of the original stamp present on each letter carried. We retained the misspelling of “San Fransisco” for authenticity.”
If you’re into random California history, pick up one of these replica patches.