A Fascinating Brief History of the Coded Graphic Language Symbols That Made Up Hobo Graffiti

In a report for Vox, video producer Coleman Lowndes offers a brief but fascinating history of the early coded graphic language symbols, which have often been referred to as hobo graffiti and how it was used to communicate with others. Filmmaker Bill Daniel, who is expert on the subject as seen in his films “Who Is Bozo Texino?”, explained the various types of markings and cautioned that much of the history is rumored.

Hobo graffiti was actually rooted in a graphic representation of a road persona called a moniker. that every hobo has a moniker that rides the rails. …Monikers usually said something about the person where they were from a physical trait if they were young or old.