Boxcar Betty  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Boxcar Betty was a fictional organizer with the IWW (or Wobblies) earlier in the 20th century, popularized by a Depression-era book by Ben Reitman. The Wobblies were among the first to organize itinerant workers, and some of their most dedicated organizers were homeless themselves. Boxcar Betty became one of those "larger than life" characters, a fictionalized amalgam of various women and a part of American folklore:

Today, if you really want to, you can probably find Boxcar Betty roaming the railroad yards across the country. Her name itself has become synonymous with rollicking, rough and tumble adventure. And wherever she goes, Boxcar Betty is a railroad tramp's worst nightmare and most delicious dream. Hopping freights and bouncing from one boxcar to another, Boxcar Betty is brawling her way across this great land.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Boxcar Betty" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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