Origins of the Investigative Industry
The origin of private investigation in the United States is considerably more professional and dates back to the mid 1800’s. In 1850 Allan Pinkerton founded the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Pinkerton grew his reputation and agency by preventing an assassination attempt on President Abraham Lincoln, and pursuing well-known outlaws such as Jesse James and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. At its height, the Pinkerton Agency employed more agents than the standing army of the United States. The Pinkerton Agency went on to form the United States Secret Service, the agency currently responsible for protecting presidents and other dignitaries.
Over time, the investigative industry transitioned from preventing strikes and protecting wealthy barons and dignitaries to addressing the more diverse social issues of today. In today’s world, investigators are hired by private citizens for a host of reasons, creating extensive growth within the industry.