Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Of Things Past

While looking through editor Kevin Burton Smith’s recent additions to The Thrilling Detective Web Site, I noticed something I had not spotted before, even though it has apparently been offered since at least 2018: “This Day in P.I. History,” a list of significant events from the lengthy heritage of private-eye fiction. Today’s entries, for instance, read:
Allan J. Pinkerton signs this contract between the Illinois Central Railroad and the Pinkerton’s Detective Agency, Pinkerton & Company, agreeing to establish a “Police Agency” in Chicago to assist the Railroad in the “prompt and efficient performance of their business,” on this date in 1855.

On this day in 1929, Dashiell Hammett’s first novel,
Red Harvest, featuring the Continental Op, was published by Alfred A. Knopf, following a four-part run in Black Mask in 1927 and 1928.
I look forward to re-checking “This Day in History” regularly, to see what’s new—or, rather, what’s old news—regarding this genre.

1 comment:

HonoluLou said...

I once receive 6 Pinkerton Detective coat buttons as a gift. They were brass fronted with copper backing and inscribed in a circular fashion, top and bottom, with "Pinkerton Detective" or "Pinkerton Railroad"...can't recall.

I was transferring to be Postmaster at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines and didn't want to chance them getting lost (or stolen) in my household goods shipment. So I mailed them Registered mail.

Then, Mount Pinatubo erupted and buried them under 3 feet of muck and ashes. A year later I got my household good shipment, but never those boxes.