HOBO Info

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HOBO Info
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 18, 2004 6:48 PM
I am looking for information on how HOBOs used to live. I am really looking for pictures can anyone help.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 18, 2004 8:11 PM
Welcome to the forums [:)]

Someone posted a link in one of the threads a while back about a HOBO website. I am sorry, but I don't remember which thread the link is in. Maybe some of the forum members can remember.

There has been some talk of HOBOing in the forums. However, we need to remember we have a huge base of junior high and high school forum members. Therefore, we should not glorify the life of a HOBO, or condone what they do/did.

I am sending you a seperate email. It may help or not. But I don't want to contribute anything here that would be cause to lead anyone astray.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, January 19, 2004 9:16 AM
Thanks for all the info. I will contact the people that you mentioned in your email. Thanks again.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, January 19, 2004 2:30 PM
It is no kind of life,moving from one town to the next,sleeping in rescue missions,or under a bridge.It means being hungry a lot,bumming for ciggarettes if you smoke.It means constant hassle from the law,and scorn from people in general.I tell everyone out there.DONT TRY IT>been there,done that. Don
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, January 19, 2004 5:47 PM
Maybe I should re post the reason I am asking is that I bought the Riding the Rails HOBO Set from lionel. I am trying to make my layout look like a HOBO hangout. I am looking for pictures so I can model my layout to look like a little HOBO village. Thanks for all the Help.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 10:09 PM
Dear jhhtrainsplanes,
The last thing I want to do is engage in an arguement with you. However, I feel obligated to point out that the life of the HOBO (why are we putting this in all capitals???) has already been highly glorified and their actions more or less condoned. In addition, the rough treatment they received from law officers (i.e. being trown off moving trains in the middle of the desert) has given them a kind of glorification that is hard to describe, almost a little like martyrdom. I am sure you know what I mean. Then there was the HOBO parade in Britt, Iowa. (By the way, is that parade still occuring?) Of course, HOBOs are now an inseperable part of railroading, just as is the steam locomotive or the semaphore signal. However, you are right-their actions should not be glorified or condoned, but at the same time I do not know anyone who wants to become a HOBO.

Respectfully yours,
Daniel
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Posted by CBQ_Guy on Friday, January 23, 2004 12:52 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by im19struefan

I am looking for information on how HOBOs used to live. I am really looking for pictures can anyone help.


Hi,

Well I'm sorry I can't be of more help, but to encourage you and hopefully spark another lister's memory, I know I saw a book on Hobo's in one of the train catalogs I get...just can't remember the name now!

Also, someone mentioned a website for hobo's and I recall seeing that at least a couple hears ago, but I didn't bookmark it. Maybe you could Google "Hobos" and see what you get.

Finally, there is a great movie you should be able to rent or buy called "Emperor of the North" . It's probably a good 25 years old but it is all about the King of the 'Bo's versus a crusty old Conductor back during the Depression. I consider it my favorite train film.

Again, sorry I can't be mofe specific, but I hope this ends up being helpful to you.
"Paul [Kossart] - The CB&Q Guy" [In Illinois] ~ Modeling the CB&Q and its fictional 'Illiniwek River-Subdivision-Branch Line' in the 1960's. ~
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Posted by fec153 on Sunday, January 25, 2004 8:19 AM
Yep, Lee Marvin and Ernie Borgneine(?).
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 25, 2004 5:42 PM
Here are some links with information on hobo life:

What is a Hobo?: http://www.hobo.org/whatis.html

Do you know your Hobo signs and symbols?: http://www.slackaction.com/hobo/signs.htm

The Littlest Hobo Page: http://members.tripod.com/kevinmccorrytv/hobo.html

Hobo News: http://www.hobo.com/Hobocomnet/indexx.html

Hobo Poetry: http://members.iquest.net/~evanw/hobo.htm

Riding The Rails: http://www.erroluys.com/RidingtheRails.htm

Hobo Letters: http://www.erroluys.com/BerkeleyHackett.htm

Hobo Sounds: http://www.hobosounds.fsnet.co.uk/

Hobo Signs as Gifts: http://www.alternateone.com/

Hobo History Article: http://www.alternateone.com/hobohistory.htm

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, January 26, 2004 11:25 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by im19struefan

I am looking for information on how HOBOs used to live. I am really looking for pictures can anyone help.
I can tell you every thing you want to know Im a hoboe
The word comes from the phrase Hoe Boy these guys would have every thing they owned In a bandana on the end of a garden hoe they would go door to door during the deppresion looking for food they would do yard work for a meal then be on their way they always traveled by freight train while looking for work they rode under the boxcars on the brake rods or as they say (RIDIN THE RODS) this was very dangerous
they were only inches above the rail and if the bull (RR Police) or train crew seen them
They would beat them bloody or kill them if youve ever watched the movie Emporer
Of The North It will explain some things also I dont have any pictures but maybe this will help If you get a chance go to a big city and look under a over pass near a yd
dont go into the camp alone or in the woods their could be crazys out their but if you see an old man sittin near a campfire ask him he might be a hoboe first ask him about a fusse Pronounced FEWSEE Not fuse And ask about a Rail road torpedo
This is not A missle It A Impact explosive the RR used Back in the steam days
when the wheels of a train ran over it it would pop like a firecraker A fusee Is A
road flare the torpedo was also used to indicate a stalled train ahaed the conductor
on the caboose would walk from the rear of the train way out so if another train was coming they could stop in time[8D]
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Posted by ironhorseman on Thursday, January 29, 2004 3:05 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by im19struefan

Maybe I should re post the reason I am asking is that I bought the Riding the Rails HOBO Set from lionel. I am trying to make my layout look like a HOBO hangout. I am looking for pictures so I can model my layout to look like a little HOBO village. Thanks for all the Help.


Perhaps it would help if we knew what era you are trying to to model? I'll assume it's the depression era since this is the most common and thought of when when the term hoboe is used. I know one time I saw something by Woodland Scenics with hoboe scenes and such but I can't find my book or ad I saw it in.

I found some hoboe sets at http://store.yahoo.com/internettrains/grsmichobcam.html or go to http://www.internettrains.com and search for "hobo."

I've also checked all my train books and found nothing on depression era hoboes, surprising since most of my books are history books. The rest of my train books concentrate on a particular railroad's history so there wouldn't be anything in there.

The only book that talked anything about hoboes was one by National Geographic called Railroads: The Great American Adventure by Charlton Ogburn, published 1977. About a 1/2 page is dedicated to describing the hoboe and what he goes through. Hoboes were people who traveled to find work. They were called hoe boys because they carried a hoe, a pick, a shovel, or kind of tool. Foremen would meet these 'hoboes' at the rail yards and say they need X numbers of hoe boys for work.

Hoboes didn't like to be confused with tramps who were "looking for easy pickings" and bums who were "looking for alcohol."

Vagarants in the north west were not treated as harshly as those in south east USA where the punishment was the chain gain. In the NW USA they'd just usually be "put off" the train when caught.

The history of vagarants goes back to the 1870s. By World War I there were ~60,000 vagarants riding the rails, in the 1930s- ~500,000. That's basically all the detail the book goes into. The next part talks about train robberies of the 1870s and that's how the railroads really put down the zero tolarance for vagarants.

The book also has photo section of 1970s hoboes (6 pictures, all black and white). There's no real picture of any hoboe camp except of 5 guys standing around a small fire with pot of coffee and trash and debris strewn around them, some of them have bags and jugs they carry with them. If you wanted to model a 1930s era hoboe jungle you should look into making some trackside shanties, tents, trash bits, campfires, laudry on makeshift clothes wire, some stray dogs, etc.

The Great Depression was a great exception. People rode the rails because they had no choice. The trains could take them to places in the country where there was work and food. They literally had no choice other than to move on or starve to death.

In addition to the movie Emporer of the North (aka Emporer of the North Pole) see also the movie Sullivan's Travels (1941). A movie director goes out to research his movie "O Brother Where Art Thou?" by riding the rails and spending time with hoboes and in soup kitchens. It's kind of a comedy but gets serious toward the end. He does alright traveling through California but ends up in trouble when he gets into the deep south. See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034240/

You might also want to check your local library for books on the subject. They might have some pictures. IF I run across some pictures of 1930s era hoboes I'll let you know.

yad sdrawkcab s'ti

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Posted by ironhorseman on Friday, January 30, 2004 3:59 PM
Interestingly last night on Turner Classic Movies there was a film called "Wild Boys of the Road." (1933) Two teenage boys leave their families during the depression and hop a freight for Chicago. Along the way fight with the railroad police, city police, and mean streets. They live in makeshift hoboe camps, all teenagers. Their first camp was called Pipe City where they stayed in concrete pipes as well has wooden huts. Later they end up staying at a garbage dump in New York. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0024772/

If anyone wantw to see some still images from the movie, other hoboes of the 1930s, or hoboes of the 1970s then just email me.

I would think that the key to modeling a 1930s-era hoboe camp is to be creative. The hoboes had to be creative and resourceful in building their camp. Wooden shacks, concrete pipes, hanging clothes, campfires, cans and litter strewn about, usually right next to a railroad yard. Also, to be visually accurate for that period hundreds of hoboes rode the trains inside and out, on top and underneth. You might want to get some gondolas, some refers, and some open boxcars to simulate this. Scores of men and boys, and even women and girls, could fill the empty boxcars, refers, and gondolas. Put them on the ladders and running boards and on the edges of the open boxcar doors.

Scores of people would also line the tracks waiting for the moment the train began to move before they tried to get on, usually waiting just outside the yard limits.

This might be easy to replicate in N and HO scales, but perhaps in O scale you might have to scale back on the number of figures considering the size and space 20, 30, or 40 hoboes would take up. Have fun making it up and be creative. [:)]


yad sdrawkcab s'ti

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