Badge, "Pinkerton National Detective Agent, New York"

This badge is a novelty replica of the badges worn by members of the Pinkerton Detective Agency during the second half of the 19th century. The top of the badge bears the “all-seeing eye” with Pinkerton’s motto “We Never Sleep” below. The center of the badge reads “Pinkerton National Detective Agent” above “New York” in a cartouche. The Pinkerton Agency was established by Allen Pinkerton in 1850 and became famous by protecting President Lincoln during the Civil War. After the war, the Pinkerton Agency and its detectives became notorious for their violent methods in hunting down criminals and protecting railroad shipments as well as busting strikes and suppressing the dissent of organized labor.
Object Name
Pinkerton National Detective Agency
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 5 cm x 4.5 cm; 1 31/32 in x 1 25/32 in
associated place
United States
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Cultures & Communities
American Enterprise
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

7/28/2015 3:25:55 PM
herbert sontz
Is this badge manufactured by Pettibone?
Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.