Now that I found out more about Hobo Nickels, i will give some info. Hobo nickels are just regular nickels with different engravings on them. Different people had engravings. The hobos would keep one nickel with them because, in the Depression era, one nickel could get you a nights lodging. A hobo could be arrested for vagrancy if he was unable to produce the payment for a nights lodging. This, in turn, could set them to 90 days hard labor.
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