Friday, September 7, 2012

Hotel de Gink

We wrap up Hobo Week with this picture. It shows men at morning coffee in the Hotel de Gink in New York. The hotel was organized by Hobos to cater to Hobos.


  1. Everyone watches while one poor soul cooks. That's a funny picture.

  2. I’m not sure if that guy is cooking. I think he got KP duty, taking the old leaves off the lettuce and the potatoes are waiting in front of him for pealing.
    The fellow standing, second from left has the hotel name on his hat…..he might be the ‘concierge’.

    Photos like this keep me reminded how lucky many of us are and all we have in comparison to many others in the world. But in the world we live in now with economies all attached, and it takes is one economic blimp, one major disaster, and life changes in a second.

  3. Looks like cabbage to me and potatoes on the floor.

  4. All kinds even among 'boes. Some bad luck, some bums.

  5. Hotel De Gink

    "What in the heck is the "Hotel De Gink"? Apparently, this was a self-run hotel for homeless men and transients. "Gink" is the hobo word for man or gentleman. Interestingly enough I learned that the term hobo came from post Civil War lingo. It was applied to the soldiers that were travelling home by train. Homeward Bound became Hobo (this according to a Civil War Battle Guide friend of mine). I'm sure there are other explanations for the origin of the term, but this one seems pretty reasonable in my eyes.

    "The original 'Hotel De Gink" was started by a hobo named Jeff Davis in 1913 in Seattle, WA. It later burned down in 1915 and several establishments bearing the same name opened across the United States. This is an interesting statement on the economy at the time as the Great Depression was still a long way off yet.

    "The photos are from the George Grantham Bain collection at the Library of Congress and feature a slice of daily life at the "Hotel De Gink". Some of them are from New York City in the Bowery. Some did not list or indicate a location."