Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Anderson School History Pub

Hobo Hieroglyphics: Decoding Secret Signs

Anderson School - Haynes' Hall

6 pm doors, 7 pm program


All ages welcome

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Qualifies for “Attend a McMenamins History-Sponsored Event” Experience Stamp.

Why not stay the night? Receive 15% off your hotel room that evening using the code HISTPUB or mention it when you call the hotel.

About Hobo Hieroglyphics: Decoding Secret Signs

Hobo Hieroglyphics: Decoding Secret Signs

Presented by Mike & Charlie Wray, The Historic Graffiti Society

A No. 1-Tex KT-Lost Midgett-Pel Mel-NY Peg-Montana Rags-CHI YT-Lone Hobo Dutch-Bad Boy Curly

These are monikers, hobo names that once created new identities for men on the road. Hoboes and tramps chalked, penciled, painted, and carved their monikers as they rode the rails, sometimes including a date and direction of travel. Hobo signs were secret symbols recording experiences with kind women, men with guns, bad dogs, and dirty jails, for the benefit of future travelers. Clever reporters deciphered these mysterious codes, and published them to protect their readers from mooching and thieving tramps.

The Historic Graffiti Society presents hobo and tramp marks from the 1900s through the 1960s, and weighs the evidence for and against a secret language of hobo signs. Hobo Hieroglyphics and other zines will be available for purchase, with profits donated to repair the roof of a historic Wyoming railroad depot.

About the Speakers:
Mike and Charlie Wray founded the nonprofit Historic Graffiti Society to discover, record, and preserve historic graffiti, with a particular interest in tramp and hobo marks. Charlie presented an introduction to American Hobo Graffiti at the first National Symposium for the Study of Historic Graffiti at the University of Southampton, England, last year. Their exhibit "Moniker-Mark of the Tramp" traveled to depot museums in Chehalis, Washington, and Potlatch, Idaho, in 2019, and will appear at the Western Mining and Railroad Museum in Helper, Utah, in 2020.

*Photo Credit: "Strange Signs Hold Record of City's Kindness," The Nashville Tennessean, May 6, 1928

About Anderson School History Pub

Anderson School History Pub

These monthly, free events are open to everyone interested in Oregon and Pacific Northwest history. Co-sponsored by like-minded historical and civic organizations, we bring you experts, scholars, first-person experiencers and historians who expound on topics from Lewis and Clark to shipwrecks, hop growing to women pioneers and far, far beyond. It's like being back in the classroom - except this time you get to settle into comfortable seats and enjoy a drink or two with dinner while you listen and learn.

This event is eligible for a History Pub Stamp