Have you ever wondered where the term “private eye” came from? Well, you can thank Mr. Pinkerton for that. Allan Pinkerton that is, of Pinkerton National Detective Agency fame. Mr. Pinkerton, along with his brother, started the first private detective agency in the United States way back in 1850. Pinkerton was a barrel maker by trade and a very successful one at that. Just how he got into the detective business is a story worth knowing. Furthermore, his Agency is still in operation today and many of his methods of detection and crime solving are still being used. The Pinkerton Detective Agency played a role in capturing or eliminating many of the criminals of the 19th century, among them, Jesse James, Butch Cassidy, the Wild Bunch, and others. He was a friend to President Lincoln and foiled an early assignation attempt. He organized a spy ring to infiltrate the Confederate Army and obtain vital wartime information.