This book provides the first account of the invention of the tramp as a social type in the United States between the 1870s and the 1930s. Tim Cresswell considers the ways in which the tramp was imagined and described and how, by the Second World War, it was being reclassified and rendered invisible. He describes the 'tramp scare' of the late nineteenth century and explores the assumption that tramps were invariably male and therefore a threat to women. Cresswell also examines tramps as comic figures and looks at the work of prominent American photographers which signalled a sympathetic portrayal of this often-despised group. Perhaps most significantly, The Tramp in America calls into question the common assumption that mobility played a central role in the production of American identity.