Allen Pinkerton was a man that people automatically respected. He was a man that had a sight for security and many different companies looked to him for help with their security problems and to make sure that their businesses were safe. He could also do things and go places that the public police could not. In 1855, he was asked by six Midwestern railroad companies to establish a railroad police agency, and at this time he was only 35 years old and a deputy of Cook County, part of the railroad police agency, and he was also under contract with the federal government to protect the Post Office from robbery, and called on for detective tasks. Pinkerton formed the Pinkerton Protective Patrol in 1958, which began as a small agency that had uniformed night watchmen. These night watchmen were contracted out to businesses to offer night watches for protection of their businesses. As businesses in the United States expanded, so did the private security industry. Pinkerton’s attempts to secure the railroad industry may have been the most notorious of these efforts. After Pinkerton’s death, his sons carried on the business, and a noticeable shift from detection to prevention began to take place. Labor problems produced riots and left industry leaders looking for the help of private protection agents to ensure protection of their industry and related property. Efforts to protect high-profile business leaders became an advantage financially for the private security indutry. Within a decade of Allan’s death, his sons opened six new offices, and preventive patrol efforts comprised a significant source of revenue for the company. “‘Pinkerton men’ became a household word, a word of hate in the street and a word of comfort in the mansions.
The Pinkerton’s men responded to a strike in Homestead via boat in July of 1829. Strikers on the shore had weapons, signaling to the boat and the...