Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chumps on the Street: Stereoviews A-Z

Social reformer and physician Ben Reitman was quoted in 1875 as describing the unemployed homeless this way: "A tramp is a man who doesn't work, who apparently doesn't want to work, who lives without working and who is constantly traveling. A hobo is a non-skilled, non-employed laborer without money, looking for work. A bum is a man who hangs around a low class saloon and begs or earns a few pennies a day in order to drink. He is usually an inebriate.

So are these hobos, tramps or bums? Chumps for sure, as they do appear to be foolish. Photographer Herman Knutzen honed in on the comical side of being homeless and drunk in this 1906 set of photos. And since they are 'loveable' drunks, they are rather funny. But I'm not sure if we would laugh at this today, or maybe it's just me. I live in a community under 24,000 and never see this kind of thing. What do you think?

"Ah, here is where those bums get what is coming to them."

"You big lobster, what did you hit me for?"

"Now we will give the other one a dose of the 
same medicine for that tired feeling."

"You hit me first."...."I didn't."...."You did."....You are a***!!!"

"Biff--Bang--Bing. Call me a liar, will you?"

"You kids come out here and we'll wake you up, too."

Source: http://www.mandymnewman.com/2012/05/american-hobo_3202.html
Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums, Tom Lutz, p. 162
Stereoviews, copyright 1906, Herman Knutzen; Gravseth family archive; Copyright 2013 © Sharon Himsl

16 comments:

  1. Nice one Sharon. I think I'll have what they're having!

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  2. ahahaha That is funny. I love your comments with the pictures.

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  3. Hi Rosanna. A new visitor! Thanks for stopping by....join us! I'll be hopping over to your blog next.

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  4. Good morning Kellie, Fran and Jai! A laugh to start your day. Thanks for your comments!

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  5. Excellent pictures. But like you, I wouldn't find that situation funny either. The opposite in fact.

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    Replies
    1. Not all are like this. Thanks for stopping by Wendy!

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  6. Replies
    1. Nice to meet you Dani:) It's one of the best things about the a-z--meeting other bloggers!

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  7. Where on earth do you find these views? I have been enjoying the photos and really enjoying the commentary. I can't wait till tomorrow...

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    1. Hi Diana. I've seen these in museums, but they're all over the internet too in collections being sold or displayed.

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  8. Are all the stereoviews so violent and/or sheepish? LOL, this is so interesting can't wait to see the next one.

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    1. Hi Sopphey. No, not all are like this. A huge variety is coming, so stay tuned :)

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  9. "You lobster!" I love it! I'm going to start calling mean people "lobsters." :)

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  10. Good one, Kim. Pretty tame name-calling by today's standards, isn't it? Wouldn't this be a great line in a book?

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