The Confidence Men of Paris, Circa 1900

The Met Museum has posted some images from a book called the Album of Paris Crime Scenes, collected between 1901 – 1908. Apparently, it belonged to Alphonse Bertillon, the fellow who invented modern mugshots. Actually, Bertillon’s mugshots are more detailed than a modern mugshot, with measurements of the body, evaluation of teeth, etc. This mugshot…

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We Never Sleep: the Wild West files

In 1850, a Scotsman named Allan Pinkerton founded one of the most successful and well-known detective agencies in history in Cook County, Illinois- an organization so successful, it’s still operating 169 years later. The Pinkerton National Detective Agency initially specialized in train robberies, but they quickly expanded into anti-labor union activities, including breaking up the…

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The Love and Insanity of Dr. Laffin

Charles James Laffin, was born in Australia in 1867. While still a youth, he traveled to far-away New York City, where he thrived in the New World. The precocious Laffin earned his degree in medicine from Bellevue Hospital Medical College when he was 21. He often traveled between Canada and the US. It was on one of…

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