Who is "Bozo Texino"?  |  Railroaded  |  The Wander Years  |  bibliography
Click to return from whence you came!
home > articles > Who is "Bozo Texino"?

Who is "Bozo Texino"?

by Andrew Hultkrans for the Stim Website

When Robert Silveria confessed to multiple murders at a Placer County, CA jail in early March, police and media began excavating an underground culture which many associate with early 20th century Americana, that of the freight-hopping hobo. Dubbed the "Boxcar Killer" by investigators, Silveria traveled the rails for over fifteen years, and by his own admission, murdered at least fourteen fellow drifters "out of an uncontrollable rage," often stealing their bundles and boots afterwards. Unlike many of his ilk, whose victims are functioning citizens with incomes and IDs, Silveria is a serial killer with an unusual M.O. His grisly tales illuminate a still-thriving subculture of men who, by choice or necessity, slip beneath society's radar and adopt a rootless existence, free of social security numbers and the bonds of wage slavery. In a political climate where welfare mothers receive the full brunt of opprobrium from upper and working classes alike, few are aware of this liminal network of rail-riding hoboes, whose names are not recorded in the files of state-assistance bureaucracies. The lurid account of Robert Silveria is just one portal to this shadow civilization, and most likely the only one with enough tabloid clout to court national attention. Texas filmmaker Bill Daniel offers another, more sympathetic channel to the culture of the "bindle stiff" through his twelve-year work-in-progress Who is Bozo Texino?

Dallas resident Daniel was working as a commercial photographer in a warehouse across from the Santa Fe train yard in 1983 when some curious chalk etchings on the sides of boxcars caught his eye. Already interested in conventional aerosol graffiti, Daniel became fascinated by the caricatures drawn by hoboes identifying themselves as "The Rambler," "Coaltrain," "Kid Idaho," and "Colossus of Roads." "This is incredible," he thought, "It's like a secret hobo society." As he started photographing the sketches, Daniel came upon on tag which compelled him to delve deeper into the culture of hobo writing, a cartoon cowboy sporting a large hat with an infinity-shaped brim and a cigarette dangling from his mouth. This was the mark of "Bozo Texino," a mythical symbol that, like the Trystero post horn in Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, suddenly appeared to be everywhere Daniel looked. Beyond its ubiquity, the Bozo Texino tag seemed to promise a wealth of hidden history behind its blank stare, and like the Trystero horn, it did. As Daniel has discovered in his serpentine rail journeys across the country in search of its author, Bozo Texino is both every hobo, and no hobo in particular. Like the "author" of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament), referred to by Biblical scholars as the "J" writer, Bozo Texino is an amalgam of anonymous writers who have created a collective identity that unites the disparate elements of hobo culture.

According to Daniel, the term "hobo" derives from "hoe-boy," or migrant worker, and possibly "homeward bound," referring to uprooted Civil War veterans making their way home by rail. Contrary to popular belief, Daniel maintains that the heyday of the hobo was the post-Civil War era, not the Steinbeck 1930's with its traveling Tom Joads. "The whole transient, jobless scene started after the Civil War," says Daniel, "They were men who couldn't reassimilate into society." Coincidentally, the western expansion was peaking at the time, so many of these rootless drifters hopped freight west in hopes of finding work building bridges or "gandy-dancing" (laying train tracks). In the 1890's, according to Daniel, these "kings of the road" could always find work, and happily chose to travel from job to job, never settling down. This spirit of wanderlust characterized the Golden Age of hobo culture. The migrant workers of the Depression, notes Daniel, did not choose their lifestyle, but rather hopped freight by economic necessity, and were not serious contributors to hobo lore. The classic hobo lived by the "laws of the Wanderpath," which, according to Daniel, go like this: "You help somebody who needs some help. If somebody doesn't have any food or water you share with them, and somebody will share with you. When you leave a campsite, you don't leave it trashed out, you leave some wood for the next guy. You never ask too many questions about what someone's doing, you mind your own business. It's called being a 'good Johnson,' a Johnson being a gentleman of the underworld, a criminal who still has a creed of ethics." It was from such a community of honorable rogues that train writing, or hobo graffiti was born.

In the heyday of hobo graffiti, boxcar observers were treated to a diverse palette of visual form and expression. Beyond human caricatures and moniker tags, one could find political satire and propaganda, poetry, doggerel, religious appeals, lewd renderings of the female form, sequential narrative art, and most significantly, an iconic code of symbols directed at fellow hoboes. These icons served as a secret communications network for the freight-hopping population, informing hoboes of conditions they might expect in a particular place, from "You can sleep in hayloft" to "Hit the road, quick!" Hobo writing was documented as early as the 1930's, as this excerpt from the July, 1939 Railroad Magazine proves:

In addition to human faces and forms, students of boxcar calligraphy bump into figures of animals now and then, also pictures of trains and locomotives, but rarely any other type of machine. Most of these masterpieces are drawn by hoboes while they are waiting for freights or loafing around warehouses. Or, perchance, while enjoying free transportation at the company's expense, they show their gratitude by scribbling over the inside walls of the train. Other sketches are done by railroad men in terminal yards.

This article reveals an important aspect of train writing - that it was practiced by railroad employees as often as by hoboes themselves - and even identifies Bozo Texino as one J.H. McKinley, a Missouri Pacific engineer who adopted the moniker as his own, adding the cowboy caricature. As Daniel notes, "The development of boxcar art has been enriched by the two-way influence between tramps and trainmen. Although they are from two different classes, their drawings share common themes: frontier identity, freedom, and fantasy." Whereas in McKinley's day hobo graffiti functioned as code as well as cartoon, today the informational aspect has all but vanished. The site-specific icons are "a totally dead language," according to Daniel, who characterizes today's train writing as "purely tagging, it's about identity." The loss of the visual code points to the fragmented state of today's hobo community. "Like the rest of society, it's so fractured," observes Daniel, "There's no cohesion, people don't really take care of each other, there just isn't the kind of brotherhood there once was, or so the histories would have us believe." Nevertheless, hobo culture persists into the present day, in a fashion somewhat removed from the romanticized images once created by Jacks London and Kerouac.

Daniel, who has been a rail-rider for the past ten years, is quick to stress the harsh realities of contemporary freight-hopping, from the physical discomfort of sleeping in snow and occasionally in jail, to the threat of violence from psychotics like Robert Silveria and "jackrollers," predators who attack or kill others for their gear. Daniel warns that rail-riders must be wary of "streamliners" - tramps traveling without gear - as they are likely to be jackrollers. The act of freight-hopping itself has become more hazardous as well, due to faster trains which rarely stop and increased yard security augmented by infrared scopes and remote video. Despite the increasingly perilous nature of rail-riding, the culture still exists, although the classic hobo, or migrant worker by choice, has all but disappeared.

In the old days, there was an unofficial pecking order in the freight-hopping community - the working hobo on top, the tramp, who wanders but doesn't work, in the middle, and the bum, who is often alcoholic and remains in one place, on the bottom. Today, the hobo hierarchy mainly consists of its bottom two rungs: tramp and bum. The majority of contemporary rail-riders are "stamp tramps," or traveling, non-working stiffs who scam the food stamp system from state to state, often on a planned schedule. Daniel notes that since food stamps are going high-tech with personalized credit cards, or being abolished altogether, there may be a revival of the working hobo. "Maybe you'll see hoboes come back, because guys will decide they still want to live out there, and when they come into town and can't get stamps, they'll wash windows or pick up trash." The true latter-day inheritors of the hobo work ethic, however, are largely Latino migrant workers, illegal immigrants who ride the rails in search of work. Generally ostracized by prejudiced Anglo tramps, the Latinos have not significantly incorporated traditional hobo rituals into their lifestyles.

Although there is little cross-pollination between the contemporary tramp community and the Latino migrant workers, there has been an interesting crossover between urban aerosol graffiti and hobo writing. While inner city graffiti artists have long made train cars their canvas, they have generally confined themselves local metro trains and subways. With increased security at metro train lots and new surface materials which wipe clean with a wet rag, hip hop writers are now tagging freight trains. As Daniel observes, "All the graffiti art zines have pictures of freight now because the metro trains, they clean them off and the yards are too hot. Even if you get a great piece up and don't get killed by the cops, they're going to clean it off that day. Now you're not citywide, you're nationwide." Daniel cites well-known San Francisco aerosol artist Twist as a writer who has adopted the dimensions, styles, and themes of traditional hobo graffiti in his work on boxcars. As hip hop tagging is primarily concerned with delineating one's turf, the move to interstate freight trains is a curious one, yet Daniel maintains that this "out for fame" impulse is consistent with hobo writing:

They're such different people demographically, but the impulse is exactly the same. I listened to an eighty year old guy, who's working the oil fields in south Texas, who's never been out of his hometown, talk about why he writes, how he developed his moniker, what it means to him and what he expects it to mean to others, and it's exactly the same thing. It's about getting up, it's about getting seen, it's about developing an image that people recognize as you, so you can stand back and say "Boom! All over the country they're seeing me." It's the same kind of thing as juvenile turfing.

Like hip hop graffiti, the writing of contemporary tramps is all about self-identification. Caricatures and monikers dominate the boxcars, but Daniel also comes across sequential art with word balloons, poetry, and occupational folklore. On the insides of cars, he occasionally encounters more ambitious stabs at abstraction, "large abstract shapes that could be figures, could be sex acts, sometimes done with paints, totally abstracted and unfathomable as far as their intent. There are also some amazing figures, the range of presenting female form is just incredible. Some hands are so practiced and make such elegant lines, and others are so raw." As for Bozo Texino, he's still out there, a timeless icon that is seemingly shared by every generation of hoboes.

Daniel has been laboring for twelve years to make Who is Bozo Texino?, often biding his time between train hops by working with collage filmmaker Craig Baldwin (Sonic Outlaws, Tribulation 99), whose films he helped edit. After playing out the grant scene, he still needs $40,000 to complete his film, which he expects to run 75 minutes. Next, Daniel plans to shoot a film about traveling carnivals, and its dying subculture of painters and ride builders. When asked what motivates him to persist in his quixotic quest to bring Bozo Texino to a larger audience, Daniel replies that he "wants to show what the message of graffiti is, that there's an art in life when it's free, that outside the boundaries of commodity and wage life there's a flourishing human condition, with storytelling, social bonds, and friendship." Daniel's message recalls the picaresque romanticism of those noble tramps of yesteryear, Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton. That the charmed life on the skids these Hollywood hoboes depicted seems as irretrievable as the Wild West is not surprising. In an era when Congress ritually demonizes the underclass, the image of the happy-go-lucky tramp has never been more out of vogue. By documenting the remnants of a subculture for whom the slogan "Live free or die" is something other than license plate trim, Bill Daniel reminds us that there once was a time when homelessness wasn't a problem but a choice, and finding work was as easy as hopping the next westbound train.

Who is "Bozo Texino"?  |  Railroaded  |  The Wander Years  |  bibliography
Click to return from whence you came!
home > articles > Railroaded

Railroaded

America's spawned a new brand of hobo, but train hopping's as romantic and dangerous as ever

by Silke Tudor for sfweekly.com, October 31, 2001

The long-limbed rocker behind the cafe counter knows who I'm looking for before I finish the third of a string of descriptive words I was given over the phone.

"You're looking for Lee," he says, swinging his hair out of the way and leaning over the scarred countertop of the arty hangout. "The hose clamps gave it away."

"Lee comes in here every time he comes through town," he continues. "We've both been here a long time. We're both photographers. He's a cool kid."

The "kid" arrives only a few minutes later than our arranged time, apologizing with soft-spoken sincerity that is cordial enough to seem out of time and place. As promised, Lee is dressed in varying shades of overwashed black. He is short and solidly built, with a prominent nose and thick, coarse skin that gives him a slightly Middle Earth air; his hair, too, is coarse, and dusty, but kept short and trim. An article of clothing, which may once have been a pair of black chinos but now is worn so thin that the crotchless legs flutter with the slightest movement, hangs from around his waistband like a post-apocalyptic Gypsy scarf, along with a small utility knife hidden in a homemade sheath.

Almost immediately, the large hose clamps that shine dully around Lee's neck and arms draw the attention of the cafe crowd, which is an odd mix of arty kids and blue-collar hippies. Lee answers the litany of questions with gracious good humor ("No, they don't hurt." "Yes, I can leave them on when I sleep") and he obviously enjoys the predictable jokes ("Yes, I'm a good person to have around when your car or your washing machine breaks down").

"I couldn't get more attention from a $5,000 tattoo," says Lee, chuckling as he slides onto the bench next to me. He asks me to buy him a cup of coffee but demurely refuses my offer of food.

Lee will be 47 in eight days. He grew up on a mountain range in Southern California where his father was a ski instructor. He came north and went to community college for a while, but for the last 16 years he has lived as a squatter, eating out of restaurant and bakery dumpsters, doing odd jobs, occasionally visiting missions and food banks, and camping on public land. Among the growing number of forest squats on the perimeter of this midsize coastal town, Lee's shack is considered a good place to entertain family and friends.

Lee is also a political activist - with a lengthy police record as such - and a hobo train-hopper.

Contrary to popular opinion, which would have us believe that rail riding is the fading pursuit of hardened derelicts and that hobo travel has been curtailed by heightened security concerns, the train-hopping population is being fed by a fresh incursion of young riders: Crusty punks and anarchists, dropouts and activists, professionals with a taste for adventure, art students and runaways and disenfranchised youth of all kinds, weaned in the information age and driven by a DIY aesthetic, are jumping freights right along with migrant laborers and other, more traditional types of tramps. In these widening hobo circles, Lee is known for being generous with his time and knowledge and open to first-time riders, including the many women who, according to longtime tramps, are taking to the rails in unprecedented numbers. Lee's biannual zine, There's Something About a Train, which began 12 years ago as an eight-page newsletter of rail-yard tips, practical advice, and helpful lingo, has expanded into a 125-page literary journal with poems, diaries, travelogues, drawings, photographs, stories, songs, and legends submitted by full-time and newbie riders alike.

For issue No. 6, Lee traveled 1,200 miles by rail to Tucson to use a friend's offset printing press. It took three months to lay out and print, but, because of the weight of the new issue, Lee could only carry a quarter of the print run back to California. In a couple of weeks, he and a friend, a fellow forest-squatter named Monkey, will (they hope) hop a freight out of Richmond (a pretty "hot" yard) headed to Arizona. Once there, Monkey will attend a wedding in Phoenix and Lee will collect the rest of his zines in Tucson. But first, Lee has agreed to put me on a beginner's train.

"Some of the old-timers are suspicious of the kids," warns Lee as we follow the railroad tracks into an unpopulated area between two dirt cliffs. "But everyone's suspicious of the press. I don't know how many people will come out once the word has gotten around. We'll see. The train may not even come. That's something you have to be prepared for: With trains, you never know."

We stop at a bend in the track, and before long, a pale, slender, young forest-squatter going by the name of Woodrat approaches and greets Lee while effectively ignoring me. The four-year rail veteran drops his rucksack and sits on the dirt bank, staring gravely at his feet and giving me a good glimpse of the jagged scar running down his chin - the consequence of a fast-moving train, an overstuffed backpack, a minor miscalculation, and a lot of luck, considering he escaped with all his limbs. Soon Helen Wheels, a recently laid-off journalist who thought hopping a freight might be better than sitting in her apartment all day drinking, arrives, as does Gem, a very somber college student with ginger-red hair who sits a good distance from everyone, reading the morning newspaper. Ballast, a powerfully built 31-year-old with heavy boots and a fierce countenance, arrives with both hands dug deep into her pockets and a wool cap pulled low over her eyes. She greets everyone by name, then sits down glowering at me.

"You're making a mistake," she says.

Lee begins his first-time rider speech. He explains the difference between the cars - boxcars, piggies (semi truck sitting on a flatbed), lumber cars, coal cars, and grainers, cars that look pregnant because their sides bulge out, which will be ideal for our trip. He explains the dangers - jail, ticketing, death, dismemberment.

"I've been riding for 16 years, and I've never seen anyone get seriously hurt or known anyone to die, but it happens," says Lee. "Some drunk guy tried to hop this train, and his body was dragged underneath, into town, where body parts were left spread out all over the tracks."

"Sometimes this train stops right here," continues Lee, "but more than likely we'll be catching it on the fly." Lee explains a technique that is much easier done than said and warns about "slack action," the movement between couplings that, combined with the accumulative jerk of 30 cars, can fling anyone who is not well-braced off the train.

"When the train comes, it happens very fast," says Lee. "Even if the train is long, it feels like less than a minute when you're up close. Spread out. Don't crowd each other."

The clattering rumble in the distance suddenly begins to take on urgent meaning.

"I still get butterflies," says Woodrat as we head up the bank to hide in the bushes until the locomotives and engineers pass.

Quite suddenly we're running, and the train is lumbering beside us, larger and louder and faster than I've ever imagined a train could be, going five to 10 miles an hour. I grab a rung and lift my inside foot into the metal stirrup. My heart is matching the speedy click of the tracks beneath us, and my breath is cold and sharp. The passing landscape begins to pick up speed, and Lee shows me a large cubbyhole in the side of the grainer, perfect for hiding a tramp during unexpected stops and slow midtown crossings.

Passing through the outskirts of town, Lee waves to a few children who watch the train with gleeful fascination. Everyone has his own style. Lee, being a veteran of this line, takes it lightly. Ballast and Woodrat hang back against the rusty wall of the grainer, while Gem, Lee's sometime lover, sits quietly in an alcove doing her homework, and Helen holds on for dear life. Just a little past a road crossing, a man named EJ suddenly hops on board, then we are in open country, picking up speed with farmland on either side. The smell of artichokes and strawberries and pumpkins hits me hard. Day laborers unbend their backs to watch the train pass, waving handkerchiefs when they catch sight of us. I feel the fog roll in, wrapping around the train as it grips a long, sweeping turn. I imagine the engineer can see our heads hanging out of the train like happy puppies, but if he does, he doesn't care. Lee and Woodrat tell me that, for the most part, railroad employees are tolerant, even helpful, to hoppers, as long as you don't make yourself a problem. I listen to the rumbling of the massive machine beneath me and allow myself to be hypnotized by the constant, organic shifting of the huge, fistlike coupling near my feet.

"It's like an animal," I murmur, to which Woodrat, Ballast, and Lee respond with a knowing nod. "Like riding between the scales of an animal."

At the end of the line, where coal is traded for cement or vice versa, we hop off and make for a small burrito stand in town where we can kill time during the switch-over. In the restaurant, talk turns to the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa, which draws thousands of tramps every year, and to the new hobo culture that is emerging. Woodrat checks his electronic organizer, and Ballast uses an MP3 player to record an interview for her pirate radio show. Lee strikes up a conversation with the engineer of our train, who sits at a table nearby, and if the engineer is wise to what's happened, he doesn't let on.

After our meal, we "jungle up" in the low canopy of trees that always seem strategically placed along rail yards and talk in hushed tones while the rail workers check the line. Woodrat and Lee tell tales of waiting in yards for days, sweating, hungry, in hobo-hostile territory. They tell of trains that crawl through canyons and fields and under stars no one has ever seen by car. I lie back and watch the sky through the canopy, gray, dreamy, and still.

"I have no idea what time it is," I say.

"Welcome," says Ballast. "Time doesn't matter after a while."

Then we are running again, and we're on the train.

Ballast invites me up top. I follow up the ladder on the side of the car to find her sitting on the top of the grainer as casually as if it were her own living room. Ballast offers me her hat and stares over the fields, her double mohawk flapping in the wind.

She talks about her experience last year, substitute teaching nearby, watching planes spray pesticides while the children were outside playing, and how train hopping for the last four months has made her realize she's a homebody. As I watch her watching the fog roll in and the land roll by, I wonder.

"It gets in your blood, though," says Ballast.

"I can last about two months," says Lee, sitting in the dark just outside the Richmond yard. "Then I have to move again. Some hobos say wanderlust is the strongest lust."

Despite infrared cameras, frequent patrols, and well-lit yards, heightened security isn't the biggest problem facing train hoppers, according to Lee. It's the mergers.

"It's hard to tell where a train's going nowadays," he says.

Monkey and Lee, who have covered at least 10,000 miles together, hunker down in the cold and fall into hobo rhythm, telling stories and conserving smokes in little puffs. Then we hear the rumble and see three white lights coming down the track. It's a "hotshot," a fast train, on the Chicago line. Lee and Monkey leap to their feet and scurry down the embankment until the locomotive flies past, then they scramble up the hill again, trying to get in position, Lee taking the rear and leaning forward hard to counter the weight of his enormous pack. Monkey looks back at Lee, nods, and hops on the fly. The train picks up speed and Lee hesitates. He switches position to give himself more running speed, but the train is really hauling now. And it's gone. Lee is crestfallen.

"I feel a little embarrassed," says Lee. "I guess you saw the real thing, though. That's the way it goes with train hopping; you never know how it will turn out. I'll probably catch up with him later. It's just going to be a lonely ride."

Who is "Bozo Texino"?  |  Railroaded  |  The Wander Years  |  bibliography
Click to return from whence you came!
home > articles > The Wander Years

The Wander Years

by Leslie Dunn for the Monterey County (CA) Herald, 12/17/2004

Riding the rails during the Depression was a way of life for many - including Carmel's Theodore Sarbin

A Southern Pacific freight train, its rusted boxcars clicking along the tracks, has become a spectral archtype of the American landscape.

To Theodore Sarbin, to America in the 1930s, the train carried more than grain and steel. It was a vehicle of hope and adventure.

Sarbin is a 93-year-old retired professor of psychology now living in Carmel. At age 20, he wanted to see the world and left Cleveland to ride the rails in 1931 at the onset of the Great Depression.

"I remember it was sometime in May. I took extra clothes, a frying pan and some Bisquick. I started off hitchhiking going west."

"I got as far as Illinois and I ran into a fellow my age from New York who said something about taking the freight trains. His name was Irv. He was out to seek his fortune, too. We were good company for each other."

Oh, sure there were stories about people losing their limbs hopping freight trains. Sarbin says he never saw that, "but you learned that if you grabbed the ladder wrong while the train was moving, it was easy to slip and get your foot caught underneath."

You were careful.

A train had no bounds. From the top of a boxcar, the open prairies, the blue skies above you - this land was your land, this land was my land - the train could lead you anywhere.

Travelling west, sometimes with hundreds of men, they were also bearing witness to a country "dying by inches" in the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

"Some of these guys were farmers from the Dust Bowl, hoping to get out to California where they thought there would be sunshine all the time and you could pick grapefruits off the trees. It was hard to get into California in 1931. They were cleaning out the railcars as they got close to the border."

But if you were 20, you had your life ahead of you. You could watch the sun rise over the Rocky Mountains. You helped each other.

"The train would stop in the morning and we'd get off and go into town. We'd look for a YMCA and pay a nickel for a towel and a bar of soap. We'd go up to a bakery. One of us would go in and ask the young woman behind the counter 'is there any work I can do?' Sometimes they'd give you work. Washing windows. They'd fill up a bag with bread and rolls.

"Then Irv would go in they'd say 'oh there's the basement that needs cleaning.' We'd get more rolls."

Theodore "Ted" Sarbin was born in 1911 in Cleveland, Ohio, to a Polish mother and a Russian father who made cigars for a living. He was one of six children.

Sarbin says he probably read too many adventure books and was seized with "wanderjahr" a German expression meaning "yearn to wander."

"It was a life without purpose," he says, "I have to admit that. You didn't need much." Sometimes he sent his parents a two-cent postcard from the road.

Sarbin and Irv rode the rails through Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada. In a way, location was beside the point. He remembers the plaintive sound of the train whistle.

"It meant moving on. I never felt sad or depressed out there. I always thought if I went without a meal, so what? You can always get on a freight train and go somewhere else. Maybe the girls in the next bakery will be kinder."

Sometimes they'd walk onto a farm and work in exchange for something to eat - fatback bacon, cornbread, gravy. Usually it was a sandwich out on the porch.

They'd sleep under newspapers in a park. If it rained, they discovered you could go into a police station and they'd let you sleep in a jail cell.

"There was no violence that I ever saw. If anything there was a spirit of cooperation. One time in Cheyenne, Wy., Irv and I were waiting for a train. An older hobo in his 40s asked the two if us if we'd had anything to eat. We hadn't eaten in a couple of days. He left and came back with coffee, lunchmeat, bread and so on. This fellow's name was Harry. I never saw him again."

If you fell asleep on a grassy field you could never be sure what you'd wake up to. Once it was to the sound of airplane engines. Another time a cow stood over them chewing its cud.

You had to watch your shoes.

"I remember it was summertime in St Louis. I woke up in a park and another hobo had his shoes stolen. So here was this fellow maybe 30 years old. Barefoot. Embarrassed to walk down the street. So I took it upon myself to find the Salvation Army and a very understanding woman gave me a pair of shoes. That was my turn to do a good deed for someone else."

By autumn, Irv and Ted had crossed Wyoming into the Great Plains. They'd seen a growing legion of footloose wanderers on the road. They saw the ravages of poverty in rural areas.

Hobos would congregate in the jungles next to the railroad lines. "We'd sit around the fire and talk and sometimes share food," Sarbin says. "There was a song the old ones used to sing (about railroad baron James J. Hill):

I know Jim Hill
And he's mighty fine
That's why I'm walkin down
Jim Hill's main line
Hallelujah I'm a bum."

At some point someone would ask, "are you a bum or a hobo? Bums won't work. Hobos will. On the road you learned it was important distinction and "sometimes," Sarbin says, "it was hard to tell the difference. If he said he'd been there three months then you knew he was a bum."

On through Chicago, Pennsylvania, "there was much talk about the government," Sarbin says. "People were ashamed to go on relief. Everybody was effected by the Depression. And everyone asked why couldn't the government do something about this?"

People were openly sympathetic to World War I vets who trekked across country by the thousands to ask Hoover in Washington for their war bonus. Droves of them were later dispersed in front of the capitol by the tanks of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

"As a matter of fact," Sarbin says, "I happened to be wearing khaki pants and shirt a lot of people thought I was one of the Bonus marchers. Even though I was too young to be a veteran."

Eventually the train pulled into New York and "Irv and I split up. He went home to Brooklyn and I found a room in a newsboy's dormitory and spent two weeks walking around the bowery learning about New York."

A few weeks later Sarbin cross the border into Ohio and went home. It was December. Christmastime. "I was glad to get out of the elements," Sarbin says, "except it was a little dull."

His father borrowed $20 from a friend to pay Sarbin's tuition at Ohio State University - an investment which in time justified his exile. Sarbin's career as a psychologist centers around the meaning of the stories we all acquire in our lives.

Sarbin taught psychology for two decades at the University of California, Berkeley, then went on to teach at the University of California at Santa Cruz where he is currently a professor emeritus of psychology and criminology.

In 1999 he was the recipient of the Award for Distinguished Theoretical and Philosophical Contributions to Psychology by the American Psychological Association.

"In retrospect my life on the road may have been a foolish thing to do but it helped me recognize the diversity of life, the capacity of people to be kind and helpful to strangers."

"I was a member of a dispossessed segment of society. I think that's always been in the background of my own story."

Who is "Bozo Texino"?  |  Railroaded  |  The Wander Years  |  bibliography
Click to return from whence you came!
home > articles > bibliography

bibliography

Aaron, Chester. 1986. Lackawanna, New York: Lippincott.

A novel, aimed at the Jr. High level, of a gang of abandoned children living in NYC during the depression. They take to the rails when one of their younger members is kidnapped by a "jocker". Lots of rail riding as they travel from NYC to Chicago and back.
Adams, Charles E. 1902. "The Real Hobo: What He Is and How He Lives," Forum, June, pp. 438-49.
Adrian, Lynne Marie. 1984. Organizing the Rootless: American Hobo Subculture, 1893-1932, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa [see Fow 1989]. Advisory Committee of the Municipal Lodging House. 1915. "The Men We Lodge: A Report to the Commissioner of Public Charities," New York: New York Advisory Social Service Committee.
Alexander, Edwin P. 1970. Down at the Depot: American Railroad Stations from 1831 to 1920, New York: Bramhall House. 320 pages. Includes over 300 photographs, illustrations, index and bibliography.
Photographs with brief narrative of many freight and passenger stations throughout the US are presented: country, suburban and city stations - both large and small - plus a special section on bygone stations.
-- "All About the Entity of the Ego Is Taught at the Hobo University," Literary Digest, July 12, 1919, p. 52.
Algren, Nelson. 1935. Somebody in Boots.
A depression era novel with lots of rail riding.
Allsop, Kenneth. 1967. Hard Travellin': The Hobo and His History, New York: New American Library, 448 pages. Includes eight leaves of plates, illustrations, portraits, bibliography.
-- 1993. Hard Travellin': The Story of the Migrant Worker, Pimlico (London).
Anderson, Nels. 1975. The American Hobo, Leiden, Netherlands: E.J. Brill.
-- 1923. The Hobo: The Sociology of the Homeless Man, reprinted 1967, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 296 pages. Includes illustrations and bibliography.
A study prepared for the Chicago Council of Social Agencies under the direction of the Committee on Homeless Men, published 1923.
-- 1940. Men on the Move, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Sociological Series. Reprinted 1974, New York: Da Capo Press, 357 pages. Includes illustrations and bibliography.
Anderson stated in the introduction that one of the failures of The Hobo [see Anderson 1923] was the overlooking of the labor implications. This work is the rectification of that oversight. It focuses on the life of the migrant worker the migrant family, the current problems of migrancy, the plans and programs that attempted to deal with such issues, and the effects of technology and industrialization. Sixty tables containing statistical information are presented throughout the book. Many photographs, predominantly from the Farm Security Administration, are included.
-- 1940. "Highlights of the Migration Problem Today," Proceedings of the National Conference of Social Work, 67, pp. 109-17.
-- 1931. The Milk and Honey Route: A Handbook for Hoboes, New York: Vanguard Press.
-- 1923. "The Juvenile and the Tramp," Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, August 1, pp. 290-312.
Anderson, Paul. 1925. "Tramping with Yeggs," Atlantic Monthly, December, pp. 747-55.
Armitage, Susan and Elizabeth Jameson. 1987. The Women's West, Norman, OK and London: The University of Oklahoma Press, 323 pages. Includes illustrations, index and bibliographies.
Ashleigh, Charles. 1930. Rambling Kid, London: Faber.
-- 1914. "The Floater," International Socialist Review, July 15, pp. 34-38.
Aynesworth, Hugh. 1989. "Old Hobos Gather Around the Fire as Whistle Blows for a Dying Breed," Washington Times, August 14, A/1.
An account of the many hoboes who traveled from all over the country to honor their departed buddies at the Hobo Cemetery and reminisce about the so-called dying tradition of the hobo at the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa.
Bahr, Howard M. 1973. Skid Row: An Introduction to Disaffiliation, New York and London: Oxford University Press. Includes notes, name and subject indexes.
Based upon the materials collected during Bahr's eight-year program of research conducted at the Bureau of Applied Social Research. The social organization, history, types and characteristics of homeless men and women, public attitudes about homeless men and means of control and rehabilitation are presented.
-- 1970. Disaffiliated Man, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Essays and bibliography on skid row, vagrancy, and outsiders, 428 pages with an annotated bibliography.
-- 1968. Homelessness and Disaffiliation, New York: Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University, under the direction of Theodore Caplow, 437 leaves.
Bailey, William. 1973. Bill Bailey Came Home: As a Farm Boy, as a Stow-away at the age of Nine, a Trapper at the Age of Fifteen, and a Hobo at the Age of Sixteen, Logan: Utah State University Press, 183 pages.
Ball, Don Jr. and Rogers E. M. Whitaker. 1977. Decade of the Trains, the 1940s, Boston: Little, Brown & Co., New York Graphic Society, 287 pages with photographs.
Contains narrative and photographs of steam locomotives, freight and passenger cars (some photographs of the typical caboose interior are included), yard, road, and maintenance operations, and the shipping of military supplies and personnel.
Barth, Charles P. 1969. Hobo Trail to Nowhere, Philadelphia: Whitmore Publishing Co., 150 pages.
Batchelor, Bronson. 1915. "The Hotel de Gink," Independent, January 25, pp. 127-28.
A report on "The Hotel de Dink," established by Jeff Davis and other hoboes on the corner of Center and Worth Streets in New York City. Davis' words make up the majority of this article.
Baxter, Ellen. 1981. Private Lives/Public Spaces : Homeless Adults on the Streets of New York City, New York: Community Service Society of New York, Institute for Social Welfare Research.
Beck, Frank. 1956. Hobohemia, West Rindge, NH: Richard R. Smith, 95 pages.
Beck tells of his personal experiences with the people, places and organizations of Chicago's hobohemia. These include Lennie the Limp, a mission stiff; Mr. Porter (rich man turned beggar man-thief due to dope addiction); Emma Goldman the queen of anarchy; Ben Reitman (hobo, whorehouse physician, lecturer, anarchist); Harry Batters, the legendary I.O.Utopian; a college bred soapboxer named Martha; Lucy Parsons, the anarchic literature zealot and widow of convicted Haymarket Riot martyr, Albert W. Parsons; Nina Van Zandt, the society debutante-anarchist; the former Noble Prize winner Jane Adams (1860-1935); Bug House Square; Madison Street; the Chicago Hobo College; and the Dill Pickle Club.
Beebe, Lucius. 1947. Mixed Train Daily: A Book of Short-Line Railroads, Berkeley, CA: Howell-North. Includes approximately 300 photographs, by Charles M. Clegg Jr., six color plates of original oil paintings by Howard Fogg, acknowledgments, index, railroad glossary and bibliography.
This book is focussed on the mixed train consists (passenger and freight) run by the 500 or more short-line railroads that were independently owned and/or operated in the U. S.
Beedon, David. 1973. Basic Training: A Pseudo Sophisticated Guide to the Proper Technique of Traveling by Freight Train in the USA Based Mainly on the Experiences of One Person Who Has Hopped Many Freights and Digs It, unpublished manuscript, 33 pages.
Benson, Benjamin. 1942. Hoboes of America: Sensational Life Story and Epic of Life on the Road.
-- 1942. 500,000 Miles Without a Dollar, New York. A version of this appeared as "How To Go To California Without a Dollar" in the February 1937 issue of Hobo News [see Hobo News].
Best, Earnest. Sharecropper's Son (Down in Arkansas). Arkansas: Heritage Press, 1988.
Black, Jack. 1926. You Can't Win, New York: Macmillan. Reprinted 1992, Kukukuihaele, HI: Omniun, 346 pages. Reprinted (?) 2000, San Francisco: Nabot Books.
Blatchly, Charles. 1910. "State Farm for Tramps and Vagrants," Survey, April 9, pp. 87-89.
Blau, Rapheal. 1955. "Magnificent Hobo," Holiday, December, pp. 178-85.
Blum, Peter. The life of a Tramp and a Trip through Hell. Florida: Warnock, 1894.
Blurr, Buz. 1999. hoohoohobos fortuitous logos, Modern Realism, P.O. Box 410837, San Francisco, CA  94141, $15 ppd.
Boehnlein, James. We Turned Hobo: A Depression Tale Recovered. Columbus: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1937.
Bonosky, Philip, "A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt", Mainstream (Jan 1963) 3-22.
Botkin, Benjamin Albert, and F. F. Harlow. 1953. A Treasury of Railroad Folklore: The Stories, Tall Tales, Traditions, Ballads, and Songs of the American Railroad Man, New York: Crown Publishers, 530 pages. Includes illustrations and melodies with lyrics.
Brackett, Jeffrey. 1936. The Transportation Problem in American Social Work, New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Bragg, Roy. 1993. "Lars & Lizbeth," Houston Chronicle, November 21, TM/8. Bragg discussed author Lars Eighner's book "Travels With Lizbeth," an autobiographical saga of a modern-day hobo (hitchhiking, walking), Lars, and his dog, Lizbeth.
Brewer, W. H. 1878. "What Shall We Do With Tramps?" New Englander, p. 521.
Brissendon, Paul F. 1919. The I.W.W.: A Study of American Syndicalism, New York: Russell and Russell, 438 pages.
-- and Emil Frankel. 1920. "The Mobility of Industrial Labor," Political Science Quarterly, December, pp. 566-94.
Broderick, Richard. 1994. "The Hobo Camp," Prairie Schooner, (Fall), p. 135.
A short poem about a hobo camp.
Brown, Edwin A. 1913. "Broke": The Man Without The Dime Chicago: Browne & Howell Company
Brewer, W.H. "What shall we do with Tramps?", New Englander 37 (1878) 521-32.
Bruere, Robert. 1918. "The Industrial Workers of the World," Harper's Monthly Magazine, July, pp. 250-57.
Bruns, Kenneth, "Hobo - For America Knights of the Road, The Good old days are Gone forever", American History Illustrated 16, no.9 (1982).
Bruns, Roger. 1987. The Damndest Radical : The Life and World of Ben Reitman, Chicago's Celebrated Social Reformer, Hobo King, and Whorehouse Physician, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 332 pages. Includes 18 pages of plates, illustrations, index, and bibliography.
Compare with Reitman 1937.
-- 1980. Knights of the Road: A Hobo History, New York: Methuen, 214 pages. Includes illustrations, hobo dictionary and selected bibliography.
A comprehensive historical examination of the American hobo phenomenon with focus on hoboes and subtypes (e.g., jockers, moochers, thieves) of the Great Depression era. Topics also include Chicago, the work of Dr. Ben L Reitman, Nels Anderson, the I.W.W., life on the road. Convincing argument on why hoboes are not bums is provided in chapter five.
Buck, Solon. 1913. The Granger Movement: A Study of Agricultural Organization and it's Political, Economic, and Social Manifestations 1870-1880, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Reprinted, 1963, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 384 pages. Includes illustrations and bibliography.
-- 1914. Travel and Description, 1765-1865, Together with a List of County Histories, Atlases, and Biographical Collections and a List of Territorial and State Laws, Springfield, IL: The Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library, Collection of the Illinois State Historical Library Series, vol. IX., Bibliographical series, vol. II., 514 pages. Includes portraits, and facsimiles.
Bull, William. 1886. Trampery: Its Causes, Present Aspects, and Some Suggested Remedies, Boston: G.H. Ellis.
Bunce, Frank. 1933. "I've Got To Take a Chance," Forum, February, pp. 108-12.
Cannon, James Patrick. 1971. The I.W.W., New York: Merit Publishers.
Caplan, Sam. 1997. Train Tags, a University research paper, Dec. 14.
Carden, Mary, "The Hobo as National Hero: Models for American Manhood in "Steam Train" Maury Graham's Autobiography". A/b: Autobiography Studies, 93-108.
Carlin, Peter. 1979. "Social Outcasts: The Tramp in American Society 1873-1910," paper delivered at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, New York, December 28.
Carnagey, Dale. 1914. "The World's Best Known Hobo," American Magazine, October, pp. 58-59.
Carpenter, Thomas Phelps. Rescue Missions in the Hobohemia areas of Chicago and their work with homeless men. M.A. Thesis, 1928.
Cassady, Neal. 1971. The First Third, San Francisco: City Lights Books, 225 pages.
Charles Chaplin, director and writer. 1915. The Tramp, Essanay Films, 20 minutes, black and white, 16 mm.
In this comedic film, Chaplin portrays a persnickety tramp that rescues a beautiful woman from robbers and then falls in love with her. Upon discovering that she loves someone else, he takes to the road. The cast includes Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Bud Jamison, Leo White, and Paddy McGuire.
Chaplin, Ralph. 1948. Wobbly: The Rough-and-Tumble Story of an American Radical, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 435 pages with portraits. An autobiography.
"Chicago: Hobo Capitol of America," Survey, June 1,1923. pp. 303-5.
Chazin, Suzanne. 1991. "Long Journey Home," Reader's Digest November, pp. 83-6. Includes illustrations.
Chazin recalled her father's days as a hobo during the Great Depression and how his experiences gave her the freedom to travel but also to return home.
Chelemedos, Peter. 1980. Peter, the Odyssey of a Merchant Mariner, Seattle, WA: Peanut Butter Publishing, 188 pages.
Cohen, Norm. 1981. Long Steel Rail: The Railroad in American Folksong, Urbana, Chicago and London: University of Illinois Press, 710 pages.
Includes illustrations, melodies with chord symbols, index, discography, and bibliography. A definitive work on the subject.
Comerford, Mike. 1990. "Hobo Heaven," Chicago Tribune, August 17, 5/1.
Comerford commented on the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa, and the traditions that surround it including the annual election of a King and Queen of the Hoboes.
Complete Directory of Railroad Lingo. A definitive reference of the railroad parlance used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 2,500 words, 143 pages with illustrations. Contact: H.A. Durfy, 1220 NE 1143rd G#15, Seattle, WA 98125.
Conlin, Joseph Robert. 1969. Big Bill Haywood and the Radical Union Movement, Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 244 pages. Includes portraits and bibliographical references.
Conover, Ted. 1984. Rolling Nowhere: A Young Man's Adventures Riding the Rails with America's Hoboes, New York, NY: Viking Press, 274 pages. Includes two pages of plates and a journey map.
Conover, an anthropology student, gives his account of riding sixty-five freight trains, over 12,000 miles in fifteen states.
--. "A Morning with Pops", Amherst, Winter, 1981. --. "Busted in Boomtown", Denver Magazine. Nov, 1981. ooper, Harry and Page Cooper. Footloose Fiddler. New York: Whittlesey House, 1945.
Cotton, Eddy Joe. (Zebu Recchia) 2002. Hobo: A young man's thoughts on trains and tramping in America, New York, NY: Harmony Books, ISBN 0-609-60738-3. Crampton, Frank. 1956. Deep Enough: A Working Stiff in the Western Miners' Camp, Denver: Sage Books.
Creswell, Tim. 2001. The Tramp in America, London: Reaktion Books (www.reaktionbooks.co.uk), ISBN# 1 86189 069 9
Cronon, William. 1991. Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, New York, and London: W.W. Norton, 530 pages. Includes 30 pages of plates, illustrations, maps, index bibliographical references.
-- , George Miles and Jay Gitlin editors. 1992. Under an Open Sky: Rethinking America's Western Past, New York, NY : W.W. Norton, 354 pages. Includes illustrations, index, and bibliographical references.
Culberston, Ely. The Strange Lives of One Man. Philadelphia: Winston, 1940.
Culver, Benjamin. "Transient Unemployed Men", Sociology and Social Research (17) 1933: 519-34.
d'Autremont, Hugh. 1989. Rails North, Vantage Press.
Davenport, Paula. 1989. "Retired Hobo Eager to Hit the Road Again," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 7, I/1.
A feature about Rudy Phillips, the National 1986 King of the Hobos, and his Hobo Museum in Shawneetown, IL.
Davis, William Henry. 1897. The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp, London: McKenzie Flowers & Co. Reprinted 1917, New York, NY: A. A. Knopf, 345 pages; 1942, 1952, London: Jonathan Cape, 318 pages, with preface by G. Bernard Shaw. 1926. The Adventures of Johnny Walker, Tramp, London: J. Cape. Reprinted 1970, London: A.C. Fitfield, 256 pages.
Davis, Kingsley. 1935. Youth in the Depression, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Davis, Marc. 1995. "On the Road Again: College Professor Cliff Oats Williams is at Home with Hobos and Homeless," Chicago Tribune, Sunday, March 12.
Davis, Maxine, "200,000 Vagabond Children", Ladies Home Journal, Sept. 1932 8-9, 46-48.
DeCaux, Len. 1970. Labor Radical: From the Wobblies to CIO, Boston, MA: Beacon Press/Unitarian Universalist Association.
Dees, James Walter, Flophouse. New Hampshire: Mother Jones, 1948.
Dell, Floyd, Intellectual Vagabondage: An Apology for the Intelligentsia. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1926.
Dewhurst, H.S. 1955. The Railroad Police, Springfield, IL.
Dillof, Richard 1981. Hobo, Tower.
"He's one of the last steam train riders, an apprentice hobo who has traded home and family for the only true freedom left. In the hobo jungles by the railroad tracks, in seedy bars, rundown hotels and nameless towns, the derelicts and rejects congregate, intitiating him into their lonely fraternity, the brotherhood of the road."
--back cover--
Dixon, Winifred Hawkbridge, Westward Hoboes. NY: Scribner, 1922.
"The Disappearing Tramp", The Nation, January 3, 1907: 5.
A commentary about types of hoboes and their respective profiles with particular comparison between "yeggs" and "tramps."
Douglass, William O. 1974. Go East, Young Man, New York: Dell Publishing Company.
Downing, Mortimer. 1913. "The Case of the Hop Pickers," International Socialist Review, October, pp. 210-213.
"Drawbacks of Being a Knight of the Road," Literary Digest, November 11, 1916, pp. 1281-86.
Driscoll, Bill. Diary of a Hobo. Xlibris Corp, 2002.
Dubofsky, Melvyn. 1968. We Shall Be All: A History of the Industrial Workers of the World, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, also 1986. Reprinted 1969, Chicago and New York: Quadrangle.
1987. "Big Bill" Haywood [1869-1928], New York: St. Martin's Press, 184 pages. Includes index and bibliography.
Ducker, James H. 1983. Men of the Steel Rail: Workers on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, 1869-1900, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 220 pages. Includes 10 pages of plates, illustrations, index, and bibliography.
Duffy, Bruce. 1989. "Catching a Westbound Freight," Harper's Magazine, June, pp. 49-61.
Novelist Duffy recounted his first experience hopping a freight train with veteran hoboes Beargrease and Seattle Slim. The National Hobo Convention in Britt, IA is mentioned.
Duke, Donald. 1967-8. "The Railroad Tramp," American Railroad Journal, 2, pp.32-45.
Duis, Perry R. 1983. The Saloon: Public Drinking in Chicago and Boston, Urbana and Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 380 pages with an index.
Dunn, Martha. 1906. "Philosophy and the Tramps," Atlantic Monthly, June, pp. 776-83.
Edge, William. 1927. The Main Stem, New York: Vanguard Press.
Edwards, Duval. The Great Depression And a Teenager's Fight To Survive. New York: Red Appel Publishing, 1992.
Ehrman, Mark. 1991. "A Tradition Rides 'the Westbound'," Los Angeles Times, August 27, E/1.
A feature about the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa.
Eighner, Lars. 1993. Travels with Lizbeth, New York: St. Martin's Press.
Eighner's personal account of his travels with his dog Lizbeth (predominantly hitchhiking and walking). It provides insight into the aspects of homeless life, temporary living arrangements, unemployment, canine companionship, male homosexuality, dumpster diving, alcohol, drugs, insanity, and writing as a profession.[see Bragg 1993].
Eisley, Loren. 1975. All the Strange Hours: The Excavation of Life, New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 273 pages: illustrations.
Elam, Samuel Milton. 1930. "Lady Hoboes," New Republic, January 1, pp. 164-69.
In this narrative with dialogue, Elam tells of his personal acquaintance and experiences with five ladies of the road: (1) an unidentified woman on the Southern Pacific, (2-3) Daisy and Moll, two once-were reform school girls turned hobo with the help of Ding Lewis, (4) a woman approximately fifty years of age, with a knack for soliciting and receiving hand-outs named Mary, and (5) Sal Harper, as told by Frisco Pete.
Etulain, Richard, editor. 1977. Jack London on the Road: The Tramp Diary and other Hobo Writings, Logan: Utah State University Press, 209 pages. Includes two leaves of plates, illustrations, and bibliographical references.
Facciolo, Jay. 1977. The Wobs and the Bos: The IWW and the Hobo, unpublished masters thesis, Hunter College of the City University of New York.
Fagan, James. Confessions of a Railroad Signalman. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1908.
Farrington, Selwyn Kip. 1951. Railroading the Modern Way, New York: Coward-McCann, 395 pages. Includes illustrations. Fendelman, Helaine. Tramp Art.
Ferguson, Sarah. 1994. "Meet the Crusties," Esquire, January, pp. 68-75.
A discussion of the author's travels with members of the "generation-X-hobo-punk" movement [see Powers 1994].
Flynt, Josiah. "How Men Become Tramps", The Century, volume 50, issue 6, Oct 1895.
-- "The Railroads and the Tramp", The Century, volume 58, issue 2, June 1899.
Foner, Phillip. 1947. Jack London: American Rebel, New York: Citadel Press. Reprinted 1964, 155 pages with bibliography.
"For Hoboes: Hobo News, 1937," Time, May 17, pp. 67-69.
Short account of Ben Benson's almost-incarceration by the New York City Police department for selling the Hobo News - a magazine the police thought to be a hoax and a money making scam. Brief description about the Hobo News is provided.
Forbes, James. 1911. "The Tramp; or Caste in the Jungle," Outlook, August 19, pp. 869-75.
The editors of the Outlook noted that Forbes - as the Secretary of the National Association for the Prevention of Mendicancy - was the leading authority of the country on underworld having studied those sections of criminal and diligent classes [p.869]. Forbes discussed the distinctions and background of the members of the various hobo strata (classes): tramps, hoboes, gaycats, transient workmen, jockers, kids, nixey winger (person without arms due to train accident), and mush faks. Specific cases and people are used to illustrate various points (e.g., Ohio Slim, Susquehanna Red, Spider Kid). Modes of communication (e.g., the water tower bulletin board), hobo fatalities, drinking, terminology, are discussed and lyrics to a few songs are provided.
-- 1911. "John the Yeggman," Outlook, August 12, pp. 823-828.
Forbes provides insight into the practices, methods, tools and behavioral characteristics of yeggs (safe-cracking criminals and/or criminals who ride the rails and rob others). John Yegg is a term, not a specific person. However, many real-life yeggs are discussed (e.g., Topeka Joe, Fatty Ghee, Buck Bullard).
-- 1903. "Jockers and the Schools They Keep," Charities, November 7, pp. 432-36.
Foster, William Z. 1939. Pages from a Worker's Life, New York: International Publishers Co.
Fox, Charles Elmer. 1989. Tales of an American Hobo, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 226 pages. Reprint (?) at 265 pages. Preface by Albert A. Stone, introduction by Lynne M. Adrian [see Adrian]. Includes bibliographic references.
Reefer Charlie rode the rails from 1928-1939 and from 1939 to 1965 he hitchhiked and traveled by foot.
Fox, R.M. 1930. "Rolling Stones," Nineteenth Century, June, pp. 846-54.
Fox, Terry. 1985. Hobo Signs: A Compilation of Hobo Signs for Those Who May One Day Find Them Useful, Munchen, Germany: Kunstraum Munchen, 112 pages with bibliographical references.
A collection of hobo signs illustrated in freehand with definitions with a brief history.
Fried, Frederick. 1964. No Pie in the Sky; The Hobo as American Cultural Hero in the works of Jack London (1876-1916), John Dos Passos (1896-1970), and Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), New York: Citadel Press, 95 pages with a bibliography.
Freed, Dolly. Possum Living: How to Live with Very Little Money.
Garahan, Melbourne. 1924. Stiffs, New York: T. Seltzer, 311 pages.
Garland, Hamlin. 1917. A Son of the Middle Border, New York, NY: The Macmillan Company. Reprinted 1927, New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 467 pages.
-- 1926a. Trail-Makers of the Middle Border, New York, NY: The Macmillan Company, 426 pages. Includes illustrations and plates.
-- 1926b. A Daughter of the Middle Border, New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap, 405 pages.
Garrad, G.A. 1896. "Boy Tramps and Reform Schools; A Reply to Mr. Flynt," Century, April, p. 955.
"Gentle Art of Hoboing As Practiced by an Artist," Literary Digest, July 16, 1921, pp. 40-43.
Gilmore, Harlan. The Beggar. New York: University of North Carolina Press, 1940.
Gojack, John. A Long Way From Hungary
Goldman, Emma. 1931. Living My Life, New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted 1970, New York, NY: Da Capo Press, 2 volumes, includes illustrations, portraits; and 1982, Salt Lake City: G.M. Smith, 993 pages with portraits.
-- 1910. Anarchism, and Other Essays with Biographic Sketch by Hippolyte Havel, Reprinted 1969, Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 277 pages with portraits.
Gracey, Everett L. 1999. "From a 13 Year Old Hobo to an Entrepeneur" published by E.L. Gracey bos 6000 Reno NV 89513-6000
This guy had a pretty rough time of it, but not nearly as well written. More for the reader who reads everything they can find on the hobo experience. 80pp.
Graham, Maury "Steam Train" and Robert J. Hemming. 1990. Tales of the Iron Rod: My Life as King of the Hobos, New York: Paragon House, 222 pages.
-- 1985. A History of Hoboes, Tramps, and other Vagabonds, Toledo, OH: Graham.
A discussion of the definitions and distinctions of hoboes, tramps, transients, hitchhikers, bums, boomers, gypsies, winos, and rubber vagabonds. This also contains another of Graham's books, Patches.
-- 1985. Patches: About Britt, Iowa and its Hoboes, Toledo, OH: Graham.
Gray, Carl Raymond. 1955. Railroading in Eighteen Countries; The Story of American Railroad Men Serving in the Military Railway Service, 1862 to 1953, New York: Scribner, 351 pages. Includes illustrations, portraits, and maps.
Grayson, David. The Friendly Road. New York: Doubleday, Page and Company, 1913.
-- Adventures of David Grayson: Adventures in Contentment, Adventures in Friendship, The Friendly Road. New York: Doubleday, 1925.
"The Great American Hobo," 1994. A video directed and produced for PBS by Bob "Sante Fe Bo" Hopkins, National Hobo Association co-founder. Contact: NHA, PO BOX 706, Nisswa, MN 56468.
"The Great Historical Bum: An Introduction to Hobo Folklore," Come All Ye, October-December 1975.
Green, Howard. 1979. "A Devil With a Lot of Questions: Reverend John McCook and His 1891 Tramp Survey," paper presented at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians, New Orleans, LA, April
Greenhalgh, Cy. W. 2000. "Rogues, Hoboes, and Entrepreneurs", a good memoir of the 30's hobo experience, with other experiences before and after. 218 pp.
Gregory, Ted. 1995. "Weekend Hobos Romance of the Rails Lures Some Unlikely Vagabonds," Chicago Tribune, July 3.
An article about the "Loco Motives," a group of hobo enthusiasts who gather to share hobo stories in Chicago. The truths about rail life, its lure, and Chicago are discussed. A hobo glossary is included.
Grienbrier, J.J. 1977. Railroadin, Etc.
Grosfield, Byron. 1981. Buckaroos and Boxcars, Big Timber, Montana: Pioneer Publishing Co.
"Guitar Solo to the Luring Freight Car," 1923. Chicago Literary Times, June 15.
Guthrie, Woody. 1943. Bound for Glory, New York, NY: E.P. Dutton. Reprinted 1983, New York: New American Library, 320 pages with illustrations.
Gutman, Herbert. 1973. "Work, Culture, and Society in America, 1815-1919," American Historical Review, June.
Gypsy Moon. 1996. Done & Been: Steel Rail Chronicles of American Hobos, Indiana University Press, 216 pages with 22 photos. Includes recipes and interviews with contemporary riders and erstwhile riders.
Haardt, Sara. 1928. "Jim Tully," American Mercury, May, pp. 82-89.
Hader, John, J. 1928. "Honk Honk Hobo," The Survey, August 1, pp. 453-455.
An early article about rubber-tramping. The context is mostly a comparison between rubber-tramps and freight tramps. Interesting photos.
Hahn, Jessica Erica. Transient Ways. Passing Through Publications, 1997.
Hall, J. N. 1892. "How The Tramp Travels," Harper's Weekly, March 12, pp. 255-56.
Hallet, Richard Mathews. This Rolling World.
Hallman, Tom Jr. 1995. "Rail Police Have Hard Life on Tracks," Oregonian, Monday, April 17, B/6.
An article about the trivialities, dangers, and difficulties of railroad police work with excerpts of interviews with Tom Morrison, supervising agent in Portland, OR and special agent Bob Spinks of the Union Pacific Railroad.
Hanson, George. "God bless you big Joe", The Evening Sun Baltimore, May 18 1983, A12.
Hapgood, Hutchins. 1910. Types From City Streets, New York: Garrett Press. Reprinted 1970, The Social History of Poverty: The Urban Experience Series, 379 pages with illustrations.
Harlow, Alvin Fay. 1931. Old Bowery Days: The Chronicles of A Famous Street, New York and London: D. Appleton, 564 pages. Includes illustrations and bibliography.
Harper, Douglas A. 1982. Good Company, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
The dialogue between Harper (a sociologist), his riding partner Carl (a hobo) and the various hoboes encountered during Harper's month-long field work riding the rails. It is presented according to the sequence of events. Harper's concerns were primarily work-related issues and the majority of the dialogue presented is about these topics along with alcohol, drugs, women and law.
-- 1979. "Life on the Road," in John Wagner, ed., Images of Information: Still Photography in Social Sciences, Sage Focus Editions, Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 311 pages. Includes preface by Howard S. Becker and bibliography.
-- 1976. The Homeless Man: An Ethnography of Work, Trains, and Booze, Ph.D. dissertation, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Microfilms.
Harring, Sidney. 1977. "Class Conflict and the Suppression of Tramps in Buffalo, 1892-1894," Law and Society Review, Summer.
Harris, Leo. The Man Who Tramps, Indianapolis: 1878.
Harris, Sara. 1956. Skid Row, U.S.A., Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 285 pages.
Harris attempted to debunk "common misconceptions" about those who belong to the Skid Row class. Chapter Seven "Hobohemia U.S.A," is a conversation between Harris and hoboes "Schloime the Troime," "Cussin Cassidy," "Rickety Stan," and "Big Belly Bob Johnson." The I.W.W. is a large portion of the discussion.
Haywood, Bill. 1974. The Autobiography of Big Bill Haywood, New York: International Publishers.
-- 1929. Bill Haywood's Book: The Autobiography of William D. Haywood, New York: International Publishers.
-- 1969. The I.W.W. Trial: The Case of the United States Versus William D. Haywood and Others, Held at the United States District Court at Chicago, 1918, New York: Arno Press, Mass Violence America Series, 208 pages.
Healy, T.F. 1926. "Hobo Hits the Highroad," American Mercury, July, pp. 334-38.
Heller, H.J.. "Hoboes Boxcar Rides a Journey into Life", Pittsburg Press, Dec 23, 1979.
Hennessy, D. On the Bum, Five Blue Books.
Hertoghs, Jan. 1996. On the Rail Again, from the Belgian magazine Humo, in 4 parts, July 23, July 30, Aug. 6, Aug. 13
Hibberd, James. 1998. Trainhopping, Austin American-Statesman, Jan. 15
Hinkle, Ray. 1991. Polk County Vagabond: A Hobo Autobiography
Hobo Foundation. The National Hobo Foundation located in Britt, Iowa. Contact: Hobo Foundation, c/o Marian Malek, P.O. Box 143, Britt, Iowa 50423.
"Hobo Hegemony: Convention to Decide Among Rival Kings of Road Knights," Literary Digest, April 10, 1937, pp. 10-12. Originally appeared in Hobo News.
Hobo News, February 1937-April 20,1948, published by Patrick Mulkern, Ben Hobo, "the Coast Kid" Benson - business manager.
Featured articles, poems, cartoons, and occasionally songs about politics, law enforcement, employment, and hobo life that catered to hobo culture (including hobo-sympathizers and hobo-intellectuals). It maintained and promoted a strongly pro-American viewpoint and also served as a political advocate on the behalf of hoboes.
Hobo Times: America's Journal of Wanderlust, published by the National Hobo Association (NHA) and distributed to NHA members approximately five times a year.
Articles written by members are featured along with regular columns: Hobo Poetry and Lore, Letter from the NHA Director, Wheels and Whistles (personal tales from editor Buzz Potter), and a Classified section. Some articles are posted on the NHA Internet homepage. The NHA sponsors gatherings throughout the country.
Hoboes from Hell. Published by Lee. Stories from the high-iron written by contemporary riders. Contact: Hoboes from Hell, P.O. Box 2497, Santa Cruz, CA 95063.
"Hoboes' Union," Journal of Swithcman's Union of North America, 1914, pp. 20-22.
Hofer, E. 1893-94. "The Tramp Problem," Overland Monthly, 23, p. 628.
Hoffman, Victor F. 1953. The American Tramp, 1870-1900, Masters thesis, University of Chicago.
Hofvendahl, Russ. 1995. A Land So Fair and Bright, published by the author. Contact: Russ Hofvendahl, P.O. Box 5458, San Jose, CA 95150-5458.
Holbrook, Stewart. 1947. The Story of American Railroads, New York: Crown Publishers.
-- 1955. James Jerome Hill [1838-1916], A Great Life in Brief, New York: Knopf, 205 pages with bibliography.
-- 1948. Little Annie Oakley & Other Rugged People, New York, Macmillan, 238 pages.
-- 1947. The Story of American Railroads, New York, Crown Publishers, 468 pages. Includes illustrations, portraits, maps and bibliography.
-- 1946. Lost Men of American History, New York: The Macmillan Company.
-- 1962. The American Lumberjack, New York: Collier Books, 254 pages. Includes index and bibliography. Originally appeared under the title Holy Old Mackinaw: A Natural History of the American Lumberjack.
Holm, Monte 1999. Once a Hobo: The Autobiography of Monte Holm with Dennis Clay, Michigan: Proctor Publications, LLC, $25.
The book can also be purchased from "The House of Poverty Museum" and Moses Lake Iron & Metal, P.O. Box 448, Moses Lake, WA 98837. Located on Broadway Avenue (Business Route I-90) about two miles east of the main Moses Lake freeway exit. Tour hours 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations recommended. (509) 765-6342.
Hoover, Erin. 1996. "Police Question Suspect in Boxcar Slayings," The Oregonian,March 7, B/1.
A report on the investigation of Robert Joseph Silveria, suspected of killing two men found in boxcars in Oregon. His involvement in of homicides in Arizona, California, Kansas, Montana, Texas and Utah is also mentioned.
Hopkins, Bobb "Santa Fe 'Bo". 1988. Hobo Travel Guide, Los Angeles: National Hobo Association.
An introduction to freight hopping and the National Hobo Association.
"How Baltimore Banished Tramps," Forum, pp. 497-504. An early article on the tramp problem and the in-vogue remedies of the day.
"How to Tell a Hobo from a Mission Stiff," Survey, March, 21, 1914, p. 781.
Howe, Ken. 1996. American Nomads, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 14
Hubbard, Elbert. 1893. "Rights of Tramps," Arena, pp. 593-600.
Hultkrans, Andrew. 1998. Photo Bill's search for Bozo Texino, from the Stim Website
Hurt, R. Douglas. 1981. The Dust Bowl: An Agricultural and Social History, Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 214 pages. Includes 16 leaves of plates, illustrations, maps, index, and bibliography.
Hyde, James. Memoirs of a Teenage Hobo in the Thirties. Rev edition, Carlton Press, 1983.
Irwin, Godfrey. 1930. The American Tramp and Underworld Slang, New York: Sears Publishing Company Co. Reprinted in 1931 as American Tramp and Underworld Slang; Words and Phrases used by Hoboes, Tramps, Migratory Workers and Those on the Fringes of Society, With Their Uses and Origins, with a Number of Tramp Songs, Edited, with Essays on the Slang and the Songs, by Godfrey Irwin. With a Terminal Essay on American slang in its Relation to English Thieves' Slang, by Eric Partridge, London: E. Partridge, Ltd. at the Scholartis Press, 263 pages.
Irwin, Will. 1914. "The Floating Laborer," Saturday Evening Post, May 9.
Jackson, Jason. 1957. Overland Slim the Maverick; The Seven Ages of the Eventful Life of a Genuine American Hobo, New York: Greenwich Book Publishers, 99 pages.
Jacobsen, Kurt. 1994. "Hail the Noble Movie Savage," The Guardian, June 9, p. 9.
Jacobsen discussed the depiction of homeless people in modern films, with historical emphasis, citing the origins of this phenomenon as Charlie Chaplin's tramp and the vicious hobo in Jean Renoir's film "Boudu Saved from Drowning."
James, Joseph. In the Path of a Hobo. Xlibris Corporation, 2002.
"James Eads How: Portrait," Collier's, June 26, 1926, p. 16. A depiction of the millionaire-hobo.
Jefferson, David J. 1992. "Weekend Hobos Try to Recapture a Romantic Past," Wall Street Journal, January 28, A/1.
A feature about the "Beverly Hills 'Bos" who live in and around Beverly Hills, CA. Some members ride the rails in their spare time, while others gather to hear and share stories about hobo life. [See Madigan1992; it is a response to this article. Madigan was the safety inspector for the Federal Railroad Administration].
Jodrey, Bill. Diary of a Hobo. Xlibris Corporation, 2002. Jones, David.1993. "Let the Hobo Myth Die: Debunking a Popular Image," Trains Magazine, 53/3: 72.
Jones, a college professor and historic railroad hobbyist, discouraged the glorification of hobo life because it serves as an incorrect role model which youths could emulate. Secondly, the poplar image does not consider the harsh reality of the hobo way of life.
Jones, G.C. 1985. Growing up Hard in Harlan County, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky.
Jury, Mark. 1979. "The Last American Romantic," Ambassador, March, pp. 46-52.
Kaplan, Steve. 1988. "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum," Travel Holiday, November, p. 96.
The events of the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa are discussed: the Hobo King and Queen Elections, parade, art fairs, carnival rides, games, races, music, poetry and story-telling, flea markets, and more. Historical facts about attendance and the hoboes' sleeping accommodations are also mentioned (empty boxcars on the outskirts of town).
Kazarian, John. 1933. "The Starvation Army," The Nation, April 12-26.
Keeley, Steve, ed. 1986. Hobo Life in America: Training Manual, Lansing, MI: Lansing Community College. An instructional text on the tradition of riding freight trains.
Kelly, Edmond. The Elimination of the Tramp.
Kelly, Jessie. The Tramps Convention: An Entertainment in One Scene. Boston, 1912.
Kemp, Harry. 1923. "The Hobo," New Republic, August 22, pp. 365-66.
-- 1922. Tramping on Life, New York: Boni and Liveright. Reprinted 1927, Garden City, NY: Garden City Publishing Co.
-- 1920. Chanteys and Ballads, New York: Brentano's.
-- 1914. The Cry of Youth, New York: Mitchell, Kennerly.
-- 1911. "The Lure of the Tramp," Independent, June 8, pp. 1270-71.
Kenny, Raymond. 1911. "The Hobo Convention," Survey, September, 23, pp. 862-864.
A report on "The Hobo Convention" (officially "The Convention of the Unemployed") organized by James Eads How held in Washington, D.C. September 1-6, 1911, and the fifty or so hoboes that attended.
Kerouac, Jack. 1960. Lonesome Traveler, New York: McGraw-Hill. Reprinted 1989, New Evergreen edition, New York: Grove Press, copyright 1988, 183 pages.
-- 1960. "The Vanishing American Hobo," Holiday, March, p.60.
-- 1955. On the Road, New York: The Viking Press.
Kerr, James. 1930. Backdoor Guest, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., New York, Arno Press, 1974.
Klein, Nicholas. 1926. "Hobo Lingo," American Speech, September, pp. 650-53.
A brief discussion of the origins of the word hobo (advocating the hoe-boy theory) with a listing of over two hundred hobo terms and phrases.
Knibbs, Henry. 1930. Songs of the Lost Frontier, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
-- 1914. Songs of the Outlands: Ballads of the Hoboes and Other Verses, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Kornbluh, Joyce L., editor. 1964. Rebel Voices: An I. W. W. Anthology, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Reprinted 1968, Ann Arbor Paperback Series, 419 pages.
Includes illustrations, cartoons, photographs, lyrics, notes, and a glossary of terms and phrases of the migratory worker, (including hobo, lumberjack and miner terms), and bibliography. Korbluh, the former executive secretary of the AFL-CIO Joint Minimum Wage Committee, has provided a comprehensive "history of the I.W.W. as told by the Wobblies themselves. It is a story of their strikes, free-speech fights, trials, and riots, of militancy and martyrdom, of sacrifices and suppression, of epic struggles for One Big Union and a Cooperative Commonwealth which would be free class and nationality distinctions" [preface]. Kornbluh has accomplished this by presenting a collection of articles, stories, cartoons, lyrics, and photographs from the Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan Library. Chapter Three, "Riding the Rails: I.W.W. Itinerants," devotes particular attention to hoboes [pages 65-93]. Kreiger, Michael. Tramp.
Kromer, Tom. 1935. Waiting for Nothing, New York: Hill & Wang. Reprinted 1968, American Century Series AC89, 187 pages.
-- Waiting for Nothing and Other Writings. Edited by Casciato, Arthur Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1986.
Kusmer, Kenneth. Down and Out, On the Road: The Homeless in American History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002
"Ladies of the Road," Literary Digest, August 13, 1932, p. 33
Latham, Frank. The Panic of 1893. School & Library Binding, 1971.
Laubach, Charles. Why there are Vagrants. New York: Columbia University Press, 1916.
Laurent, Camille Pierre. "The Schoolboys and the Hobo: Black American Culture Between Orality and Literacy"
Laws, Wallace. Life of a Tramp. Chicago: MA Donohue, 1910
Lawson, Archie. Freight Trains West. Sacremento: Lucas Publishers, 1980.
Leavitt, Samuel. 1886. "The Tramps and the Law," Forum, pp. 190-200.
Leeflang, Gerard. 1984. American Travels of a Dutch Hobo, 1923-1926, Ames: Iowa State University Press, 162 pages.
Leeflang arrived in New York City in August of 1923 and after four days, abandoned his ship duties and decided to travel America. This is an autobiographical account of his experiences until his deportation on September 30, 1926.
Leen, Daniel. 1992. The Freight Hopper's Manual for North America: Hoboing In The 21st Century, Seattle: Ecodesigns Northwest Publishers, 112 pages. Contact: Daniel Leen, 1928 S. Graham St. Seattle, WA 981081.
A revised edition for the 21st Century. Leen stated "Because the original Freighthopper's Manual deals with concepts, I have left the body of the original text unchanged, merely adding some philosophical musings and technical updates in this "afterward" (p.95). [see Welty 1994].
Lescohier, Don. 1923. "Harvesters and Hoboes in the Wheat Fields," Survey, August 1, pp. 482-487.
-- 1920. Harvest Labor Problems in the Wheat Belt, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bulletin No. 1020, Washington D.C., Government Printing Office.
Levy, Dan. 1991. "Hoboes Meet to Trade Tales of Riding the Rails," San Francisco Chronicle, January 17, A/2.
Levy provided an account of a National Hobo Association meeting in San Francisco at Harrington's Pub.
Lewis, Orlando, F. 1909. "Railway Vagrancy," Charities, January 23, pp. 713-717.
-- 1909. "Concerning Vagrancy," Charities, January 23, pp. 713-17
-- 1908. "The American Tramp," Atlantic Monthly, June, pp. 744-53.
-- 1907. "Vagrancy in the United States," Conference of Charities and Corrections, National Proceedings, pp. 52-77.
-- 1907. "Vagrants and the Railroad," North American, July, 19, pp. 603-13.
Library of Congress, Music Division, Archive of Folk Song. 1983. A Selected Bibliography on Hoboes and Their Folklore With Library of Congress Call Numbers, Washington, D.C.: The Archive, 3 pages.
The entire contents of this bibliography have been cited herein.
Lever, Charles (the Tilbury Tramp). Tales of the Trains, W.S. Orr, London, 1845.
Licht, Walter. 1983. Working for the Railroad: The Organization of Work in the Nineteenth Century, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 329 pages. Includes illustrations, photographs, tables, appendixes, index and bibliography.
Lindsay, Nicholas Vachel. A Handy Guide for Beggars. NY: Macmillian, 1916.
Lipton, Dean. 1991. "Memoirs of a Bindle Stiff," San Francisco Chronicle, August 7, A/15.
Lipton commented on his adventures as an unemployed youth and the effects of unemployment on hobo life.
Lindsay, Vachel, N. 1916. A Handy Guide for Beggars, Especially Those of The Poetic Fraternity; Being Sundry Explorations, Made While Afoot and Penniless in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. These Adventures Convey and Illustrate the Rules of Beggary for Poets and Some Others, New York and Boston: The Macmillan Company, 205 pages.
-- 1912. "Rules of the Road," American Magazine, May, pp.54-59.
Linkletter, Art. 1980. I Didn't Do It Alone, Ottawa, Ill.: Caroline House Publishers.
Littlejohn, Duffy. 1993. Hopping Freight Trains in America, Los Osos, CA: Sand River Press, 354 pages. Includes 70 photos, index, and bibliography.
A how-to manual for the neophyte with historical background of American hoboes and the railroad industry. Topics include what to wear/bring, where and how to catch, legal aspects, railroad history, how to read railroad signals, and common misconceptions. A revised edition is being prepared [personal communication, March 1996]. Contact: Duffy Littlejohn, 868 Center Street, San Louis Obispo, CA 93405.
Livingston, Leon Ray (A#1). 1917. From Coast to Coast with Jack London, by A-no 1, The Famous Tramp, Written by Himself from Personal Experiences, fifth edition, Erie, PA: The A-no 1 Publishing Company, 136 pages. Includes facsimiles, and illustrations. Reprinted 1969, Grand Rapids, MI: Black Letter Press.
1921. Here and There with A-No. 1, Erie, PA: A-No. 1 Publishing Co.
-- 1919. How I Won My Wife, Erie, PA: A-No. 1 Publishing Co.
-- 1919. The Ways of the Hobo, Erie, PA: A-No. 1 Publishing Co.
-- 1919. The Curse of Tramp Life, Erie, PA: A-No. 1 Publishing Co.
-- 1916. The Snare of the Road, Erie, PA: A-No. 1 Publishing Co.
-- 1916. The Life and Adventures of A-No. 1, Erie, PA: A-No. 1 Publishing Co.
-- 1916. Hobo Camp Fire Tales, Erie, PA: A-No. 1 Publishing Co.
-- 1916. The Adventures of a Female Tramp, Erie, PA: A-No. 1 Publishing Co.
-- 1916. The Mother of the Hobos, Erie, PA: A-No. 1 Publishing Co.
Loane, M. 1991. "A Woman Supertramp," Living Age, January, 28, pp. 253-255.
Logan, Bob. 1994. "More Hungry Boys," Commonwealth, February 25, p. 31.
Logan recalled his leaving home at the age of 16 in 1933 and leading the life of a hobo for 8 months before deciding to return home.
Lomax, Alan. 1960. The Folk Songs of North America In the English Language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company Incorporated, 623 pages with illustrations. Reprinted in 1975 by Dolphin Books. Includes many hobo and railroad songs.
London, Jack. 1916. "Rods and Gunnels," Bookman, October, pp. 176-79.
-- 1908. "Adventures With the Police," The Cosmopolitan, March, pp. 417-23.
-- 1907. The Road, New York: The MacMillan Company.
-- 1907. "Hoboes That Pass in the Nights," The Cosmopolitan, December, pp. 190-97.
-- 1905. War of the Classes, New York: Macmillan. Reprinted 1970, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Literature House, 278 pages.
-- 1979. Jack London on the Road: The Tramp Diary and Other Hobo Writings, edited by Richard W. Etulain, Utah State University Press.
Lovald, Keith Arthur. 1963. From Hobohemia to Skid Row: The Changing Community of the Homeless Man, Ph.D dissertation, University of Minnesota.
Love, Edmund. 1957. Subways Are for Sleeping, New York: Harcourt, Brace, 186 pages.
Lummis, Charles Fletcher. 1892. A Tramp Across the Continent, New York: C. Scribner. Reprinted 1906, C. Scribner's Sons, 270 pages.
Lynn, Ethel. 1917. The Adventures of a Woman Hobo, New York: George H. Doran Company, 296 pages.
An autobiographical account of the experience of the author and her husband in traveling by bicycle from Chicago to California.
Madigan, Susan. 1992. "Throw the Bums Out. Don't Romanticize 'Em," Wall Street Journal, February 24, A/15.
As the railroad safety inspector for the Federal Railroad Administration, Madigan responded to the January 28, 1992 article written by David Jefferson [Jefferson 1992] wherein the life and exploits of hoboes were glorified. She condemned the article for complicating efforts to promote and maintain railroad safety.
Maggart, Gerald. Hobohemia During the Depression. University of Missouri Dissertation, 1932.
Maharidge, Dale. 1985. Journey to Nowhere: the Saga of the New Underclass, Garden City, N.Y.: Dial Press, 192 pages. Includes illustrations, and photographs by Michael Williamson.
1993. "The Last of the Old-Time Hoboes," The Nation, August 9/16, pp. 165-168.
The views of seventy-six year old Depression-era hobo "Montana Blackie" on hobo culture, steam vs. diesel locomotion, and mainstream society are provided.
-- 1993. The Last Great American Hobo, Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 278 pages. Includes illustrations, photographs by Michael Williamson, and index.
Mallery, James Lynn. From a dangerous to a dependent and defective group of men: Social policy, urban space, and the masculinity of hoboes in San Francisco, 1849-1917. Dissertation: General University Microfilms, 1999.
Mansfield, Drummond. 1987. "Memories of the Road," American History Illustrated, February, p. 34-41.
Mansfield described his experiences as a hobo during the Great Depression. Information is given about how hoboes traveled (riding on the tops of boxcars or inside empty ones) and where and how they camped (in "jungles" at the edges of railroad town). Distinctions of different types of hoboes are provided: some were migrant workers and were sometimes preyed upon by "yeggs" (hobo criminals who typically raided migrant camps around payroll time), and the hoboes that spent most of their lives on the rails and took to walking when they got too old to catch trains ("old airedales"). Mansfiled discussed the dangers and hardships of hobo life and the reasons why many paid this price for the freedom to roam.
Marsh, Benjamin. 1903-4. "Causes of Vagrancy and Methods of Eradication," Annals of the American Academy of Political Science, pp. 445-46.
Martinez, Al. 1991. "King of the Road," Los Angeles Times, March 14, B/2.
Martinez commented on his experience at the monthly meeting of the Los Angeles-based National Hobo Association at the Roadhouse Restaurant in Beverly Hills CA.
Mathers, Michael. 1973. Riding the Rails, Boston: Gambit, 136 pages with illustrations.
The works of Kerouac and London inspired Mathers to take to riding the rails and ultimately the publication of this photographic essay about contemporary hobo life. Mathers presents the words of various hoboes with brief contextualization. The photographs were all taken in the field when the respective dialogue took place.
Maxwell, Cliff. 1939. "Daughters of the Road," Railroad Magazine, September, pp. 49-51.
-- 1929. "Lady Vagabonds," Scribner's Magazine, March, pp. 88-92.
Mayer, Cynthia. 1993. "New Breed of Hobo Rides for Sheer Joy and Excitement," St. Paul Pioneer Press, Thursday, May 13, D/13; also published as "Today's Hobos Ride in Style," Chicago Tribune, Monday May 17, p.8; and "Yuppies Hitch Ride as Weekend Hobos with Credit Cards Aboard," Atlanta Constitution, Sunday, May 23, D/10.
An account of a rail trip made by the "Sacramanto Kid," "Capt. Cook," "Itchy Foot" with commentary on hoboing by "Guitar Whitey," "Santa Fe 'Bo," and Ernest Hanson. "Minnesota Jewel, (Minneapolis Jewel)" "Adman," the NHA, and Depot Inn are also mentioned. Although this article appears is based on one experience, there are some slight differences in content.
McCook, John. "Leaves from the Diary of a Tramp, III" The Independent 1902: 3009-13.
-- "Leaves from the Diary of a Tramp, IV" The Independent LIV no. 2770 1902: 23-8.
-- "Leaves from the Diary of a Tramp, VI" The Independent LIV, no.2775 1902: 332-7.
-- "A Tramp Consensus and its Revelations", Forum 15 1893: 753-61.
-- "Some New Phases of The Tramp Problem", The Charities Review Vol 1 no.8 355-364.
McLean, Gordon. "Riding on Top: Memoirs of a Modest Master Hobo", 168 pp. and available from Trafford Publishing (sales@trafford.com) or (888) 232-4444. Some descriptions of the Kettle Valley line, now abandoned, and other scenic routes in W. Canada. Some good stories about outsmarting the bulls, too.
McMurry, Donald. 1929. Coxey's Army, Seattle: University of Washington Press, reprinted in 1968.
McPherson, James and Miller Williams editors. 1976. Railroad: Trains and Train People in American Culture, New York: Random House.
McWilliams, Carey. 1969. Farmers in the Field, Hamden, CT: Archon.
Melone, J. Nature: Human and Real, Chicago, IL: privately published.
Meredith, Mamie. 1932. "Waddies and Hoboes of the Old West," American Speech, April, pp. 257-60.
A discussion of phrases and terms.
Meriwether, Lee. 1889. The Tramp at Home, New York: Harper & Brothers, 296 pages. Metzger, Wendell. 1994. Hobo Story, Manhattan Beach, CA: Softspin Press, 108 pages. Contact: Softspin Press, Box 277, Manhattan Beach, CA 90267-0277.
Milburn, George.1930a. The Hobo's Hornbook: A Repertory for a Gutter Jongleur, New York: Ives Washburn.
-- 1930b. "Poesy in the Jungles," American Mercury, May, pp.80-86. 1930c. The Hobo's Handbook, New York: Iven, Wrinkling. [Same as "Hornbook". Probably an incorrect citation?]
Miles, Dione. 1986. Something in Common - An IWW Bibliography, Wayne State University Press: Detroit.
The definitive bibliography about the I.W.W.
Miller, Ellen. 1994. "Ax Attack in Freight Car Kills Hobo, Injures Two, Police Say," Denver Post, April 19, B/4.
A report about how a hobo was killed and two others were injured when they were attacked with an ax by their traveling companions and thrown off the freight train near Parachute, Colorado on April 16.
"Millionaire Hobo is Dead," Christian Century, August 20, 1930, p. 1020.
An obituary-like account of James Eads How, his life and accomplishments, with particular focus on his work for the betterment of hoboes and their condition.
Minehan, Thomas. 1941. Lonesome Road: The Way of Life of a Hobo, Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson & Co.
-- 1934. Boy and Girl Tramps of America, New York: Farrar and Rinehart.
Mitchell, Jim. . . .a Nickel for Bread.; Minnesotta, Prairie Groove Books, 1990.
Monkkonen, Eric H. ed. 1984. Walking to Work: Tramps in America 1790-1935, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
"The Most Arrested American," 1925. Literary Digest, July 11, pp. 50-55.
Mullin, Glen Hawthorne. 1925. Adventures of a Scholar-Tramp, New York and London: The Century Co.
-- 1923. "Adventures of a Scholar-Tramp," Century, February / March, pp. 507-15; 735-59.
National Hobo Convention The, held annually in Britt, Iowa.
The National Hobo Convention of Tourist Union No. 63, has been held since 1900, usually on the first Saturday in August. The Hobo Cemetery is also located in Britt and memorial services are held during the convention. Details are available with a self-addressed stamped envelope from the Britt Chamber of Commerce, Britt, IA 50423.
Noble, C. W. 1896-7. "The Borderland of Trampdom," Popular Science Monthly, pp. 252-58.
Norris, Lowell. 1933. "America's Homeless Army," Scribner's Magazine, pp. 316-18.
Nylander, Towne. 1925. "Tramps and Hoboes," Forum, August, pp. 227-37.
-- 1924. "The Migratory Population of the United States," American Journal of Sociology, September, pp. 129-53.
O'Connell, Pamela LiCalzi. 1998. A Different Breed of Freighthoppers, New York Times, Aug. 20
O'Donnell, John. 1938. Hobo Lore, New York: WPA, unpublished document in Library of Congress, Washington D.C. Archive of Folk Song.
Olds, Elizabeth. Riding the Rails. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1948.
Otten, Allen. 1976. "End of the Line," Wall Street Journal, December 26.
Outland, George. 1939. Boy Transiency in America, California: Santa Barbara State College Press. A collection of articles about boy transients of the 1930s.
Pager, George. 1949. "The Hobo News," New York Folkore Quarterly, Autumn, pp. 228-230.
Paine, Samuel. 1917. "Ditching the Hobo," Railroad Man's Magazine, April, pp. 529-45.
Parker, Carlton H. 1920. The Casual Laborer and Other Essays, New York: Harcourt, Brace & Howe, 199 pages.
-- 1915. "The California Casual and His Revolt," Quarterly Journal of Economics, November, pp. 110-26.
Paul, Rodman, W. 1988. The Far West and Great Plains in Transition, 1859-1900, New York: Harper and Row.
Payne, Roger. 1939. Why Work? or, The Coming "Age of Leisure and Plenty": Why Work Six Days a Week, When You Can Make Your Living by Working One?, Boston: Meador Publishing Company, 404 pages. Includes portraits and references.
Written in response to requests for fuller facts and figures supporting the authors earlier pamphlet "The Hobo Philosopher".
-- 1918. The Hobo Philosopher or The Philosophy of the Natural Life, Fellowship Farm, Puente, CA: published by the author.
Peele, John R. 1907. From North Carolina to southern California Without a Ticket, and How I Did It, Giving My Exciting Experiences as a "Hobo," Tarboro?, NC: Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, 134 pages. Includes illustrations and portraits.
Phelps, Richard. 1983. "Songs of the American Hobo," Journal of Popular Culture, Fall, pp. 1-21.
A well-informed article on the subject - hobo and I.W.W. songs.
"The Philadelphia Tramp Conference," 1903. Charities, November 28, pp. 514-15.
Phillips, Rudy "Ramblin". 1994. Hobo King Ramblin Rudy, 265 pages.
True stories of Rudy's experiences of hoboing in from 1925 to 1932. He was elected NHA Hobo King in 1986. Contact: Rudy Phillips, P.O. Box 315, Shawneetown, IL 62984.
Pinkerton, Allan. 1878. Strikers, Communists, Tramps and Detectives, New York: Trows; G. W. Carlton & Co.; Arno Press; and The New York Times.
Pool, Bob. 1990. "It's a Jungle Out There," Los Angeles Times, January 24, B/3.
A report on a developer's plans to erect on office building on the restaurant site where The National Hobo Association held its meetings. The effects of this and some member profiles were given.
Powers, William F. 1994. "The Crusty Life," The Washington Post, January 2, E/2.
Powers discussed the articles in the January 1994 issues of Esquire [Ferguson 1994] and Texas Monthly, which discussed modern hobo life and life in Mexico City respectively.
Rahimian, Afsaneh. 1990. Migration and Mobility of the Urban Homeless, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern California.
Rankin, Bill. 1993. "A Lasting Legal Legacy," Atlanta Journal Constitution, January 1, E/1.
A profile of former Gwinnett County, GA Superior Court Judge Bryant Huff, who after serving thirteen years as a lawyer, spent two months riding the rails.
Reckless, Walter. 1934. "Why Women Become Hoboes," American Mercury, February, pp. 175-80.
Reed, Christopher. 1991. "Racist Killers Ride U.S. Freight Trains," Guardian, December 19, p. 9.
Reed discussed the [faction of the] F.T.R.A.(Freight Train Riders of America), that appear to be a neo-nazist group of hoboes who ride and kill predominantly across the western states of the U.S. Reed cited that the recent attention given to this group was due to the arrest of Jeremy "Low Road" Abshire, a member of the white supremacist group, charged with murdering two people in Utah.
Reitman, Ben L. (as told to). 1937. Sister of the Road: The Autobiography of Box-Car Bertha as Told to Dr. Ben L. Reitman, New York: Harper & Row Publishers.
Renshaw, Patrick. 1967. Wobblies: The Story of Syndicalism in the United States, New York: Doubleday. Reprinted 1968, New York: Anchor.
Rice, Clyde. 1987. Night Freight, Portland, OR: Breitenbush Books, 141 pages
Richards, Stan, et al. Hobo Signs.
Ringenbach, Paul T. 1973. Tramps and Reformers, 1873-1916: The Discovery of Unemployment in New York, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Originally a Ph.D. dissertation, University of Connecticut, 1970.
Risen, James. 1989. "American Album," Los Angeles Times, June 12, I/4.
A profile of Maury "Steamtrain" Graham.
Romines, Delma K. 1983. "Hobo Nickels," American Heritage, August/September, pp. 81-3.
A brief discussion of George Washington "Bo" Hughes' work with thirteen photographed examples.
Romines, Joyce and "Slickrock." 1996. The Hobo Nickel Book, 135 pages. Includes over 400 photos and hobo glossary. Contact: Joyce Ann Romines, P.O. Box 1585, Tucker, Georgia 30085-1586.
Rood, H. E. 1898. "The Tramp Problem: A Remedy," Forum, March, pp. 90-94.
Rose, Lionel. 1988. 'Rogues and Vagabonds': Vagrant Underwold in Britain 1815-1985, New York and London: Routledge, 254 pages. Includes a tramp glossary, abbreviations, notes references, index and a select bibliography.
A socio-historical account of the germane aspects of tramp life in Great Britain, e.g., tramp subtypes, legislation, relief, lodging houses, and casual wards.
Roy, Donald Francis. 1935. Hooverville: A Study of a Community of Homeless Men in Seattle, unpublished Masters thesis, University of Washington, 98 pages
Samolar, Charlie. 1927. "The Argot of the Vagabond,' American Speech, pp. 385-92.
The definitions, distinctions, development and theories of origin of various hobo words and phrases are given.
Sandburg, Carl. 1953. Always the Young Strangers, New York: Harcourt, Brace
Saroyan, William. 1928. "Portrait of a Bum," Overland Monthly, December, pp. 421 and 424.
Saul, Vernon alias "K.C. Slim". 1929. "The Vocabulary of Bums," American Speech, June, pp. 337-46.
A record of over three hundred fifty words and phrases commonly used by the "knights of the road."
Schockman, Carl. 1937. We Turned Hobo, Columbus, OH: F.J. Heer Printing Co.
Schwantes, Carlos. 1985. Coxey's Army: An American Odyssey, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Seeger, Pete. 1972. The Incompleat Folksinger, New York: Simon & Schuster.
Seelye John. 1963. "The American Tramp: A Version of the Picaresque," American Quarterly, Winter, pp. 535-53.
Service, Robert. 1921. The Collected Poems of Robert Service, New York: Dodd, Mead & Co.
Shaw, Clifford. The Jack Roller: A Delinquent Boy's Own Story, Sociological Case History.
Sheil, Richard. "On Trek", The Outlook of Missions Feb 1940: 57-59.
Sibley, Celestine. 1989. "Ex-Hobo Shares His Lifelong Loves," Atlanta Constitution, June 26, D/1.
A feature about John "Smally" Smolka a seventy-eight year-old former hobo (for about ten years) and baseball aficionado.
-- 1995. "Life in the '30s: Hobo at the Door, Possum in the Pot," Atlanta Constitution, March 20, C/1.
Sibley shared a letter from an old friend who lived during the Great Depression.
Sinclair, Andrew. 1963. The Hallelujah Bum, London: Faber and Faber.
Smith, F. Hopkinson. A Gentleman Vagabond and Some Others. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1895.
Smith, Jack. 1989. "Hobo Is King on Social Scale of Itinerants," Los Angeles Times, September 6, V/ 1.
Smith discussed the hobo lifestyle and the differences between a hobo, bum and vagabond.
-- 1989. "Bum Rap," Los Angeles Times, July 16, M/2. Smith accounted his adventures of the summer he spent as a hobo riding the rails.
The Social Reform Papers of John James McCook1977. Ed. Adela Haberski French. Hartford: The Antiquarian and Landmarks Society, Inc., of Connecticut
Solenberger, Alice W. 1911. One Thousand Homeless Men, Charities Publication Committee.
"The South Calling A Halt on Tramps," Survey, February 5, 1916, p.534
Speek, Peter A. 1917. "The Psychology of Floating Workers," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, January, pp. 72-78.
Spence, Clark. 1976. "Knights of the Fast Freight," American Heritage, August, pp.50-57.
-- 1971. "Knights of the Tie and Rail - Tramps and Hoboes in the West," Western Historical Quarterly, January, pp. 5-16.
Spielmann, Peter. 1979. "Hobos," Penthouse, May, pp. 138-45.
Spradley, James. You Owe Yourself a Drunk: An Ethnography of Urban Nomads, Boston, MA: Little Brown and Company.
A study of a Seattle "home guard."
St. John, Vincent. 1919. The I.W.W., Chicago, IL: I.W.W.
Starke, Barbara. Born in Captivity: The Story of a Girl's Escape. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merril Company, 1931
Stegner, Wallace. 1975. "Depression Pop," Esquire, September, pp. 79-83.
Stein, Walter, J. 1973. California and the Dust Bowl Migration, Westport, CT: Greenwood.
Stessin, Lawrence. 1940. "That Vanishing American: The Hobo," New York Times Magazine, August 18.
Stevens, Irving, L. "Fishbones." 1982. Fishbones, Hoboing in the 1930's.
An amusing and interesting account of personal experiences. Contact: Irv Stevens, Route 1, Box 4710, Corrina, Maine 04928.
Stevens, James. 1925. "The Hobos Apology," Century Magazine, February, pp. 464-72.
Stewig, John W. 1978. Sending Messages, Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 64 pages with illustrations.
The many possible ways to send messages, including language, music, mime, dance, Morse code, cattle brands, deaf hand language, hobo signs, and referee signals are described [juvenile literature].
Stiff, Dean. The Milk and Honey Route New York: The Vanguard Press, 1930.
"Stranger on A Train - Ted Conover Spent Rootless Months Studying A Furtive Breed: America's Hoboes," People Magazine, 1984. [see Conover 1984]
Stroup, Sheila. 1994. "Hobnobber Once a Hobo," The Times-Picayune, February 6, B/1.
Stroup talked about New Orleans entrepreneur, philanthropist and civic activist Bryan Bell, who rode freight trains and hitchhiked across the country as a child hobo during the Great Depression.
Sutherland, Edwin H. and Harvey J. Locke. 1936. Twenty Thousand Homeless Men, Chicago and Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co.
Symmank, Margaret. 1994. "The Hobo and the Lucky Piece," Houston Chronicle, March 13, TM/4.
Symmank reminisced about her childhood and the stories she was told about her grandmother feeding the hobos who came to the door during the Great Depression.
Swift, Morrison. 1895. "Tramps as Human Beings," Outlook, August 31, pp. 342-43.
Taft, Philip. 1960. "The I.W.W. in the Grain Belt," Labor History, Winter, pp. 342-343.
Tascheraud, Henri. 1925. "The Art of Bumming a Meal," American Mercury, June, pp. 183-87.
Terkel, Studs. 1970. Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression, New York: Pantheon Books. Reprinted 1971, New York: Avon Books.
Terkel interviewed over one hundred-sixty people from various backgrounds and orientations about their experiences during the Great Depression (1929). The chapter "Hard Travelin'" includes interviews of fourteen people who hoboed or had experiences with hoboes.
Thanet, Octave. 1878-9. "The Tramp in Four Centuries," Lippincott's Magazine, pp. 565-74
"This is a Primer for Hobo 'Gaycats'" 1937. Life, October 4, pp. 14-17.
"The Tramp as a Social Factor" 1891. Address by William J. Gorsuch delivered under the auspices of the Hartford Central Labor Union. Hartford, CT: Press of Clark and Smith
Tugwell, Rexford. 1920. "The Casual Laborer," Survey, July 3, pp. 472-74.
-- 1920. "The Casual of the Woods," Survey, July 3, pp. 472-74.
Tully, Jim. 1928. "Thieves and Vagabonds," American Mercury, May, pp. 18-24.
-- 1927. "Bull Horrors," American Mercury, October, pp. 144-50.
-- 1925. "The Lion-Tamer," American Mercury, October, pp. 142-46.
-- 1924. Beggars of Life: A Hobo Autobiography, New York: Albert & Charles Boni, and Random House, 336 pages. Also published by Garden City Publishing Co., Garden City, NJ.
Tyler, Robert L. 1967. Rebels of the Woods: The I.W.W. in the Pacific Northwest, Eugene: University of Oregon Books.
Uys, Michael. Riding the Rails. New York: TV Books Inc., 1999.
Vandertie, Adolph & Patrick Spielman. Hobo & Tramp Art: Carving An Authentic American Folk Tradition ©1995 Sterling Publishing Co. ISBN 0-8069-3185-X, 128 pp. color glossy trade paperback, good photos, some do it yourself projects, and a very brief commentary on the tramps and hobos who made the original art.
Van Swol, Erwin. 1960. "The Hoboes' Secret Code," Coronet, August, pp. 35-38.
After a friend pointed out to Van Swol that his house was marked by hoboes due to his wife's generosity, he began to research hobo signs. Twenty signs are pictured in this article with respective descriptions. Hobo history, the supposed causes of the hobo condition, and the dissemination of hobo symbols and code are discussed briefly.
Vaughn, J. B. 1975. The Wandering Years, Hancock House.
Vose, John D. 1981. Diary of a Tramp, St. Ives, Cornwall, U.K.: United Writers, 199 pages.
Wallace, Samuel E. 1965. Skid Row As A Way of Life, Totowa, NJ: Bedminster Press, 216 pages.
Walljasper, Jay. 1988. "The World of the Hobo," Utne Reader, January/February, p.45.
Warner, Jack. 1995. "Kings of the Road," Atlanta Journal Constitution, November 19, M/1.
An article about the life and experiences of Russell Stephens, age 77, a Great Depression-era hobo. Stephens was a teacher of English and journalism at Cherokee County, GA High School, having retired in 1977.
Webb, John N. 1937. The Migratory-Casual Worker, Washington D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, United States Works Progress Administration, Division of Social Research, Research Monograph VII. Reprinted, 1971, New York: Da Capo Press.
This report is a byproduct of the studies of the transient unemployed conducted by the research section of the division of Research, Statistics, and Finance, during 1934 and 1935 [p. IX]. It offers profiles of the personal characteristics of the migratory-casual worker, and explains the types and characteristics of migratory casual employment (industrial/agricultural). Ten text tables, twenty-six figures and ten supplementary figures illustrate statistical information and map migratory routes, patterns and types of work.
-- 1935. The Transient Unemployed, WPA.
Welty, Gus. 1994. "Review of Daniel Leen's The Freighthopper's Manual," Railway Age, March, p.195.
Welty's unfavorable review condemns the book (and hoboes) for safety reasons and setting a bad example for youngsters and adolescents [see, Leen 1992].
Weybright, Victor. 1939. "Rolling Stones Gather No Sympathy," Survey Graphic, January.
Whitaker, Percy. 1929. "Fruit Tramps," Century Magazine, March, pp. 599-606.
White, Richard. 1991. Its Your Misfortune and None of My Own, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
Whitten, George. 1929. Outlaw Trails, New York: Minton, Balch and Co.
-- 1928. The Open Road, Century Magazine, January, pp. 351-66.
Whiting, F.V. 1912. "Trespassers Killed on Railways - Who Are They?" Scientific America,May 11, pp.303-4.
Willard, Josiah Flynt. 1968. The Little Brother; A Story of Tramp Life, by Josiah Flynt, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Gregg Press 254 pages. [Originally published ?]
-- 1908. My Life, New York: The Outing Publishing Co.
-- 1899. Tramping With Tramps: Studies and Sketches of Vagabond Life, New York: Century Company. Reprinted 1972, Montclair, NJ: Patterson Smith Publishing Corp.
-- 1899. "Tramps and the Railroads," Century Magazine, June, pp. 258-66.
-- 1896. "Children of the Road," Atlantic Monthly, March, pp. 599-606.
-- 1895. "How Men Become Tramps," Century Magazine, October, pp. 941-45.
-- 1894. "Old Boston Mary," Atlantic, September, pp. 318-25.
-- 1894b. "The Tramp at Home," Century Magazine, February, pp. 517-26.
Wilcox, Finn. 1984. Here Among the Sacrificed, Port Townsend, WA: Empty Bowl.
A literary and photographic depiction of Wilcox's journey by freight train from Seattle,WA to Los Angeles, CA.
Willeford, Charles Ray. I Was Looking for a Street.
Williams, Vinnie. 1957. The Fruit Tramp, New York: Harper, 247 pages.
Williams, Cliff "Oats," editor. 1995. Around the Jungle Fire: A Collection of Original Hobo Poetry, Deerfield, IL: Hobo Press, 44 pages.
"Oats" has collected and edited this fine collection of poems written by hoboes and traveling folk including Liberty Justice, Guitar Whitey, Oklahoma Slim, Reefer Charlie, Luther the Jet, and others. Proceeds are given to the National Hobo Foundation. Contact: Cliff Williams, 1044 Linden Avenue, Deerfield, IL 60015. [see Davis 1995]
Willmans, Karl. 1902. Psychoses Among Tramps, Centralblatt fur Nervenheilkunde, December.
Willwerth, James. 1988. "Hoboes from High-Rent Districts," Time, July 11, p.8.
Willwerth looked at hoboing from the viewpoint of The National Hobo Association, co-founded by California actor Bobb Hopkins, and the vehemently opposing Association of American Railroads which declared these hobo-hobbyists part of a "dangerous trend."
Woehlke, Walter. 1914. "The Porterhouse Heaven and the Hobo," Technical World Magazine, August, pp. 808-13, 938.
Woirol, Gregory R. 1992. In the Floating Army, F.C. Mills on Itinerant Life in California, 1914, Univ. of Illinois Press.
Worby, John. 1942. The Other Half: The Autobiography of a Tramp, New York: Arden Book Company, 307 pages with illustrations.
Worth, Cedric. 1929. "The Brotherhood of Man," North American Review, April, pp. 487-92.
Wormser, Richard. 1994. Hoboes: Wandering in America 1870-1940, Walker Publishing Company. Includes hobo dictionary, index, and bibliography.
A socio-historical survey of the American hobo. Wormser discussed the early pioneers, the distinctions between a hobo, tramp, and a bum, the tragedies, hardships, and glories of the road, the I.W.W., Chicago, and road kids. A comparison of the hobo to the contemporary homeless is made in chapter ten.
Wren, Daniel A. 1987. White Collar Hobo: The Travels of Whiting Williams, Ames: Iowa State University Press, 165 pages. Includes portraits, index, and bibliography.
Wyckoff, Walter Augustus. 1901. A Day with a Tramp and Other Days, New York: C. Scribner. Reprinted 1971, New York: B. Blom, 191 pages.
Wyman, Mark. 1979. Hard Rock Epic: Western Miners and Industrial Revolution 1860-1910, Berkeley: University of California Press.
Yancey, Mrs. Dolly Kennedy. The Tramp Woman, a book of experiences. St Louis: Britt pub. Co, 1909
Click to return from whence you came!
Who is "Bozo Texino"?  |  Railroaded  |  The Wander Years  |  bibliography