Larry M. writes: I would like information about hobo nickels. I was left one in a collection I inherited.
“Hobo” nickels were created by amateur engravers that carved a “hobo” from the bust of the Indian on the obverse of the Buffalo nickel. These “artists”, most likely hobos in their own right, created a whole culture of these carved nickels. The “Hobo” nickels appeared almost simultaneously with the introduction of the Buffalo nickel in 1913. Hobos discovered that they could trade a meal for these creations or sell them for a small fee. The majority of the Hobo nickels were made between 1913-1920.
There is a great deal more to the story of the Hobo Nickels and lots of uses were found for these creations. For more information, see: Hobo Nickels