Pinkertons National Detective Agency, Criminal Mug Shot & Information Book, 1895
300 Forgers, Swindlers, Robbers and Sneak Thieves Mug Shots And Descriptions
Published For Members Of The American Bankers Association

This was a major crime fighting book for banks published by Pinkerton's National Detective Agency in the late 1800's. It was distributed to members of the American Bankers Association of whom was a major client of Pinkerton's National Detective Agency. The book listed photos, descriptions and general information on 300 known criminals. It also contains methods of forgers, sneak thiefs, robbers and swindlers. The book is 11x13. The book also instructs banks on how to try to entrap the criminals before calling police. It's important to remember that, at this time period; there was no FBI. Pinkerton's National Detective Agency had a whole security and investigative program set up for banks. This book was part of that program. There were several supplements to the book every year and it proved quite effective program.

The Pinkerton book for bankers contained both mug shots, descriptions, samples of hand writing
and a whole lot more. It was a major crime fighting tool used by banks who were members of the American Bankers Association. Pinkerton National Detective Agency was on retainer to investigate
and recover any loss of any bank that was a member of the association.

As you can see from the above shots, some of the criminals that were featured in the Pinkerton
National Detective Agency mug shot book were not very cooperative when they had their
photos taken. It's important to note that mug shot photos were new for this time period.

The Telegraph Cipher
Developed By
Pinkertons National Detective Agency

Pinkertons National Detective Agency published a telegraph cipher in the back of this book so clients could report crime to them under a code. Note the different ciphers used to indicate a specific crime as well as the ciphers used for each address. You can see a bigger image of the image on the left by clicking here. You can also learn more about the telegraph and private investigators in the 1800's and listen to an actual telegraph you can type out by clicking here.

Click Here For A Larger Image
Of The Telegraph Cipher

From The Ralph D. Thomas PI Vintage Collection
P O Box 82148, Austin, Texas 78708
Showroom: 9513 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas 78758
Phone 512.719.3595 Fax 512.719.3594

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