The official website of Michael Uys' and Lexy Lovell's film.
Read articles on the survival of teenage hobos written by author Errol Lincoln Uys of Riding the Rails
"Teenage Hoboes in the Great Depression." Listen to oral histories and view images of former transients from the National Heritage Museum's online exhibition.
Listen to an interview with Walter Ballard, a former teenage hobo who left his impoverished family to find work in the Great Plains.
"Documenting America." A photographic series from the Library of Congress featuring iconic photos of migrant workers, farmers, and cities during the Great Depression.


Allsop, Kenneth, "Hard Travelin': The Hobo and His History." New American Library, New York, 1967.

Anderson, Nels, "The Hobo: The Sociology of the Homeless Man." University of Chicago Press, 1967 (reprint of 1923 edition).

Cohen, Norm, "Long Steel Rail: The Railroad in American Folksong." University of Illinois Press, 1981.

Crump, R.W. and Weideman, Edward C., "A Hobo Life in the Great Depression: A Regional Narrative from the American Midwest." Edwin Mellen Press, 2005.

Davis, Kingsley, "Youth in the Depression." University of Chicago Press, 1935.

Douglas, George H., "All Aboard: The Railroad in American Life." Paragon House, New York, 1992.

Ellison, Ralph, "Flying Home and Other Stories." Random House, New York, 1996.

Fried, Fredrick, "No Pie in the Sky; The Hobo as an American Cultural Hero in the Works of Jack London, John Dos Passos, and Jack Kerouac." Citadel Press, New York, 1983.

Guthrie, Woody, "Bound for Glory." E.P. Dutton, New York, 1943.

Hemming, Robert J. and Graham, Maury "Steam Train," "Tales of the Iron Road: My Life as King of the Hobos." Paragon House, New York, 1990.

Kerouac, Jack, "Lonesome Traveler." McGraw-Hill, New York, 1960.

Maharidge, Dale, "Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass." Dial Press, Garden City, NY, 1985.

Mathers, Michael, "Riding the Rails." Gambit, Boston, 1973.

Minehan, Thomas, "Boy and Girl Tramps of America." Farrar and Rinehart Publishers, New York, 1934.

Nock, O.S., "Railways of the USA." Hastings House Publishers, New York, 1979.

Terkel, Studs, "Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression." Pantheon Books, New York, 1970.

Uys, Errol Lincoln, "Riding the Rails: Teenagers on the Move During the Great Depression." Routledge, New York, 2003.

Wormser, Richard, "Hoboes: Wandering in America, 1870-1940." Walker Publishing Company, New York.

My American Experience

My American Experience photos

Share Your Story

What do the 1930s mean to you? We invite you to tell us your own stories — whether you lived through the tumultuous decade or learned about it from a relative, a book or a movie. Comment on the decade as a whole, or on any of our 1930s film subjects.