Moving Pictures Suggested To End The Tramp Evil

From August 13, 1911

MOVING PICTURES SUGGESTED TO END THE TRAMP EVIL

MOVING PICTURES SUGGESTED TO END THE TRAMP EVIL: James Forbes, Hobo Expert, Proposes Also the Equipment of Every Village Police Department and Railroad Station with a Mendicant “Rogues’ Gallery” to Help Stamp Out the Nuisance. (PDF)

James Forbes, Director of the National Association for the Prevention of Mendicancy and Charitable Imposture, is a hobo expert. As the article says, “The study of tramps has been a life study with him.”

Forbes has finally figured out how to get rid of this blight on society using modern technology:

For years he has been thinking over it, evolving it piece by piece, and now he is ready to tell how this social cancer may be healed. His plan may take some little time to work itself out, and a little money, but he declares it will be effective. Briefly, this plan is to hold up to the boy of the country the forbidding picture of tramp life as it actually is, not as the boy seeking adventure imagines “life on the road” to be. The tramp as a “horrible example” is to be shown in every railroad town and hamlet in America by means of moving pictures and by publications.

Yes, this sounds like a good idea. Perhaps a short film featuring a tramp getting into all sorts of trouble would be an effective deterrent.

Here’s one such example. From 1916, this film tells the story of a vagabond who plays music on the streets for change:

If you have kids, I’d say you should give the whole article a read. You’ll learn about Tramp Masters who seduce children using the tramp tradition of “snaring a kid.”

Recommended related reading: the chapter on Hobo Matters from John Hodgman’s book Areas of My Expertise. See also The 700 Hoboes Project

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Written by David

August 10th, 2011 at 11:00 am

Posted in Adventure,True Crime

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