Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hobo Type

Not that Hobo type. This written language for hobos was a system of symbols developed as a code to help them cope with a difficult lifestyle. Hobo signage was often written with chalk or coal and might include directions, information and warnings such as a dangerous dog or the homeowner has a gun. Three diagonal lines signified it was not a safe place, the cross indicated angel food, which was food served to hobos after a sermon, two shovels indicated work available and a cross with a smiley face with one corner meant the doctor was willing to treat hobos for free.
      In 1889 at the National Hobo Convention, the Tourist Union #63 adopted a concrete set of sixteen ethical by-laws to govern the Nation-wide Hobo Body. Oh what a wonderful world it would be if we all lived by this Hobo Code.
1|   Decide your own life, don't let another person run or rule it.
2|   When in town, respect the local laws and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times.
3|   Don't take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos.
4|   Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help a business along, but ensures employment should you return to that town again.
5|   When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts.
6|   Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for locals' treatment of other hobos.
7|   Respect handouts. Do not wear them out, as another hobo will come along who will need them more than you.
8|   Always respect nature, do not leave garbage in your camp.
9|   When in a community camp, always pitch in to help. 
10|   Try to stay clean whenever possible.
11|   Ride your train respectfully. Cause no problems and act like another crew member.
12|   Do not cause problems in a train yard, another hobo will be coming along who will need passage through the yard.
13|   Do not allow hobos to molest children, and expose all molesters to authorities. They are the worst garbage to infest any society.
14|   Help all runaway children, and try to induce them to return home.
15|   Help all fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed.
16|   If present at a hobo court and you have testimony, give it. Whether for or against the accused, your voice counts!
:: Hobo Code is Via Design Facts

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