Monday, June 9, 2008

Hobo Code and Warchalking

I am immersed in an easy-but-interesting read called How to Tell a Secret by P.J. Huff and J.G. Lewin.

I revisited something I had a slight interest in a few months ago but never researched, Hobo Code. A set of simple symbols was invented and used by those traveling to work during the Great Depression to signify where it was safe to sleep, where one could find a meal and even who had a naughty dog.  There is an excellent glossary here.

See what first sparked my interest here.

Interestingly, Warchalking continues, albeit rarely (and seemingly not at all here in Cincinnati) as a modern-day version of Hobo Code. Practitioners mark up sidewalks, lamp posts and doors to let others in on where a wireless signal can be found. It seems that the craze was born and died in and around 2002, though I suspect it is still evident in large cities like New York and London. It might be fun to see if it can be revived...