This restored steam engine featured in this jigsaw puzzle ran on the Soo Line from 1913 to 1954. Chugging on all the major railways of the upper mid-west, this train probably hauled the boxcars that carried soldiers with no money in their pockets on their way home from World War I. The phrase homeward bound boy may have been contracted to form the new word hobo, or the word hobo may have been formed during the great depression when this train’s boxcars would have been full of young men who were riding the rails looking for work. With garden hoes in hand, they adopted the name hoe boys or hobos. Regardless of how the name hobo originated, this steam engine would have pulled plenty of them around the Midwest.
Jigsaw puzzle subject image credit: Special thanks to CJ Schmit for making the photograph used for this jigsaw puzzle available through the Creative Commons Attribution license. Visit CJ Schmit's Flickr photostream.
See all jigsaw puzzles based on CJ Schmit's photographs.