Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hobo



Welcome to Hobo Week here at OPOD. We start with this picture of a man in an alley with a bottle of Whiskey. The picture was taken in 1907. A hobo is migrant worker who is homeless and travels from place to place in search of work. The term became popular in the early 1900's and in particular during the Great Depression of the 1930's. While the term Hobo is sometimes synonymous to "tramp" in the 1930's it was more associated with men who were displaced workers.

9 comments:

  1. Looks like he's holding a black cat or dog under his right arm. Can't make out the brand of booze on the bottle label......

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  2. Traveling for work seems to be a concept that has gone out of fashion. Many today would rather sit a t home and collect government handouts. I have more respect for the hobo.
    John

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  3. Could it be "hobo" is short for "holding bottle"?

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  4. Enlarging the photo it looks like the label on the bottle is Amigo Rye. What’s even stranger is the cat……..has buck teeth! The hobo has no shoes on which is unusual. No matter how cashless they were, they would find some way to protect their feet, especially if they were jumping trains. It’s just a guess on my part but I wonder if this is not a ‘set up’ photo done a long time ago by a photographer for a portfolio or a movie still.

    There still are hobos and a National Hobo Convention and Hobo News. Many are younger now, travelling from city to city still using the railroad. It’s a way of life for them.

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  5. Interesting info on Hobos …. http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/things-i-learned-at-the-national-hobo-convention

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  6. Looks almost like a "staged" set.. perhaps this dude is an actor?

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  7. That cat looks like it is ready to kill.

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  8. "While the term Hobo is sometimes synonymous to "tramp" in the 1930's it was more associated with men who were displaced workers."

    Indeed, a second cousin of mine (I think that's what she would be) once related to me that her father's long association with a certain industry started during the Great Depression when, as a very young man, he was riding the rails. He hopped off in a town where my grandfather, his brother, was in an executive role with a company and my grandfather got him a job there, which wasn't this fellows original intent. It worked out, and he stayed in that industry his entire life.

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  9. I very much agree that the picture looks staged. No one who is walking around looking for work goes barefoot. He may have cardboard in his soles and twine for shoe strings, but he wouldn't get far barefoot. Also, that bottle bears a strong resemblance to Jack Daniel's, and while I don't know what it cost during the Depression, it ain't the cheapest stuff out there, by a long shot.

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