Readers React, Say Mystery Symbols in Harford Are Not ‘Hobo Code’
On Friday (9/3/21), I published an article titled "Hartford is Riddled with Hobo Code Graffiti, Do You Know What it Means?"
In the article, I shared photos I'd taken on a trip to Hartford that featured the same symbols over and over, symbols I'd seen before. I also shared charts with the definitions of what the "hobo code" symbols mean.
Depending what you read, "hobo code" started somewhere in the 1800's and was used by drifters to alert other "hobos" to what they might encounter in a new place. These little markings could tip a tramp off as to where there might be food, if the place is safe and where law enforcement likes to hangout.
It's not the first time I'd asked about these markings. I did an article on them last year, in both I did talk about the possibility of them belonging to a graffiti artist and having nothing to do with "hobo code," as this is another one of the popular theories as to their origin.
When the latest article published this past Friday, we got a lot of response, some people wanted to share what they knew about the "hobo code" language and others say the markings I shared are not "hobo code" at all.
One message came from someone named Jason, he wrote me the following message.
I responded and asked for more information, specifically the artists name and Jason got back to me right away.
Part of me now believes Jason is the artist but I can't know that for sure and it's probably not in his best interest to admit that if it were true. Jason was not the only one who wanted to let me know that the symbols in my photographs were not "hobo code," I got the following message from Colin on Facebook.
Whether these symbols are "hobo code" or the work of one artist that makes his way up and down the east coast, I find these symbols fascinating and I wonder how many people actually see them but dismiss them right away?
And, if it is not "hobo code," the artist has to be aware that his tag does have elements in it that can easily be confused as a "hobo code" message and, one that paints the area in a dim light.
I'd like to get to the bottom of it, so will the artist please stand up, you can come on my radio show, we will give you a fake name, and you can tell your story once and for all. Or, go for it, tell us your real name and your story, I'd prefer it that way.