Pinkerton, founded as the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, is a private security guard and detective agency established in the United States by Allan Pinkerton in 1850 and currently a subsidiary of Securitas AB. Pinkerton became famous when he claimed to have foiled a plot to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln, who later hired Pinkerton agents for his personal security during the Civil War. Pinkerton's agents performed services ranging from security guarding to private military contracting work. Pinkerton was the largest private law enforcement organization in the world at the height of its power.
Allen Pinkerton's two sons, Robert and William took over the Pinkerton agency during the "Wild Bunch" years. They had offices in all principal cities across the United States and Canada. They combined their efforts with the FBI and also international agencies.
During the labor strikes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, businessmen hired the Pinkerton Agency to infiltrate unions, supply guards, keep strikers and suspected unionists out of factories, and recruit goon squads to intimidate workers. One such confrontation was the Homestead Strike of 1892, in which Pinkerton agents were called in to reinforce the strikebreaking measures of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, acting on behalf of Andrew Carnegie. The ensuing battle between Pinkerton agents and striking workers led to the deaths of seven Pinkerton agents and nine steelworkers. The Pinkertons were also used as guards in coal, iron, and lumber disputes in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as well as the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 and the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921. The organization was pejoratively called the "Pinks" by its opponents.
The company now operates as "Pinkerton Consulting Agency. Investigations, Inc. d.b.a. Pinkerton Corporate Risk Management", a division of the Swedish security company Securitas AB. The former Government Services division, PGS, now operates as Securitas Critical Infrastructure Services, Inc.
After pursuing a career in crime for several years in the United States, the pressures of being pursued, notably by the Pinkerton Detective Agency, forced Longabaugh, his girlfriend Etta Place, and Cassidy to abandon the United States. The trio fled first to Argentina and then to Bolivia, where Parker and Longabaugh were reportedly killed in a shootout in November 1908.
The Pinkerton Agency continued to monitor the "whereabouts" of Butch Cassidy and Sundance even when they lived in Buenos Aires, Peru and Bolivia. But they believed they were better left alone there than have them back in the United States where they might escape jail and once again robe banks here in the United States.
It is known that they Sundance and Etta Place visited relatives in New York and Pennsylvania during a time when a hunt was on for them in the west. It is at this time that the following picture was taken.
(the above photo was taken circa 1902)
The above photo was taken in 1900 by photographer John Swartz in Fort Worth, Texas which prove to be a colossal blunder. The photo was seen in the Swartz Photo Studio window. Some of the members were then recognized. This same photo was then shared with detective agencies across the United States and as far away as Tahiti,