“This written language for hobos was a system of symbols developed as a code to help them cope with a difficult lifestyle. Hobo signage was often written with chalk or coal and might include directions, information and warnings such as a dangerous dog or the homeowner has a gun. Three diagonal lines signified it was not a safe place, the cross indicated angel food, which was food served to hobos after a sermon, two shovels indicated work available and a cross with a smiley face with one corner meant the doctor was willing to treat hobos for free.
In 1889 at the National Hobo Convention, the Tourist Union #63 adopted a concrete set of sixteen ethical by-laws to govern the Nation-wide Hobo Body. Oh what a wonderful world it would be if we all lived by this Hobo Code…”
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