National Hobo Convention
The Britt hobo logo was first used in the 1900 convention announcements and advertising. The figure used in the ad has been changed very little over the years and is now found around town on school letterheads, the city's watertower, on the highway welcome sign, as well as on restaurant menus.
The "Britt hobo" is thought to be Tourist Union 63 President Onion Cotton. Onion Cotton is the hobo who agreed to bring the convention to Britt in 1900.
A heavy coat was home for this 1900 hobo and the only way to keep under garments clean.
A bindle stick and personalized head gear are appropriate for the logo hobo and are typical of the 1990 hobos. Hobos over the years have been known on sight by their hats and walking sticks.
Tied to the bindle stick is a grub box and a tomato can. The hobo carries a tube in his other hand, most likely this is a rolled up convention announcement. Some reproductions over the years have turned the tube into a beer can, but it is unlikely that the 1900 hobo carried a beer, as beer in cans weren't yet manufactured.
The symbols under the Britt Hobo are a draw pin and a link coupler, the fixtures used to hook early railroad cars together. They are symbolic of the Tourist Union and of the Britt conventions - a linking up, forming a union, a coming together.
Hobos had their own symbol code to communicate with one another. The symbols were used to point out good camp sites, good water sources, a kind person, travel directions or the authorities.
Mulligan of Happiness
© 2009 Britt, Iowa