"Strongboxes are really popular fakes, but this one certainly looks real to me. I imagine you'll get $8,000 for it."



  • Fact 1: East-coast businessmen Henry Wells and William Fargo founded Wells, Fargo & Company in San Francisco in 1852, capitalizing on the gold rush of the era.
  • Fact 2: Wells Fargo specialized in the buying, selling, and transport of valuable materials such as gold and silver. As the Gold Rush waned, the company's banking services took higher priority.
  • Fact 3: Wells Fargo was one of only a handful of banks to survive the Panic of 1855, which collapsed much of the financial sector. With no real competition, the bank expanded rapidly to cover most of the American west.
  • Fact 4: Strongboxes were essentially portable safes, protecting valuable goods from petty theft during cross-country transport. Their value made them the targets of high-profile stage and train robberies.
  • Fact 5: Outlaws like Charles "Black Bart" Bowles made their names robbing transport stagecoaches of their strongboxes; this image has endured as one of the staples of western storytelling.

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