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Hobo Signs

Since they illegally hopped on and off freight trains, slept in unusual places and squatted abandoned buildings, they were often targeted by the authorities. These circumstances forced hobos to create “the Hobo code”, a unique cryptic form of communication, a system of symbols through which they could mark safe sites and steer other hobos away from dangerous people and places.

Photo by Tramps in boxcar playing cards on Library of Congress
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