Allan Pinkerton was an unlikely person to be the founder of the largest agency in the known world. I hope you enjoy this introductio0n to the man.
Allan Pinkerton’s Accidental Introduction
Photo via Wikipedia
The man at the head of the Pinkerton Detective Agency might have been known as one of America’s great lawmen, but he was also a Scottish immigrant. Born in Glasgow in 1819, Allan Pinkerton and his wife were forced to leave Scotland when he took a stand with some pretty radical pro-labor ideas. He came to the US in 1842, and they settled in Chicago, where he set up shop as a barrel-maker.
His introduction to the world of crime fighting was about as accidental as you can get. He was gathering wood for his barrels one day when he stumbled across a camp in the woods. It belonged to counterfeiters, who were making coins. Being the law-abiding citizen that he was, he turned them in. After helping with the arrests, he was made a deputy sheriff of Kane County, and he ended up being so good at it that he was soon the first man to be employed as a full-time detective in Chicago, as well as a special agent working for the post office.
By 1850, he left his appointments and created Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency. He used the motto, “We Never Sleep,” and the logo of an eye—leading to the phrase “private eyes.” Within the first 20 years of operation, they had already amassed the largest collection of mug shots and criminal records of any agency in the world, and with 2,000 regular employees and 30,000 reserve agents, their force was larger than any single standing army in the US at the time.
I'd say that Pinkerton did pretty well for himself for a man that started out as a barrel maker, wouldn't you? If you want to know more about the Pinkerton Agency, go to Listverse. They have some good stories about their history.
Coffee out on the patio this morning. That OK with you?