Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Pinkerton, Nat. Nat Pinkerton appeared in the German dime novel Nat Pinkerton, der König der Detectivs #1-476 (1907-1915). Pinkerton appeared in thousands of unauthorized sequels, across Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, and the Middle East, in twelve languages, from 1907 to 1933. Pinkerton was based on Allan Pinkerton (1819-1884), the founder of the Pinkerton Agency, the first detective agency in the United States.
Nat Pinkerton is a Great Detective, modeled on Nick Carter (I), who runs his own detective agency, the National Detective Agency, and solves cases around the world. His two closest assistants in the Agency are Bob Ruhland and Heinz Morrison. Pinkerton’s Lestrade is Edgar Duncan, a police inspector too dull to solve any of the difficult cases which Pinkerton takes on, and too jealous to admit that Pinkerton is the better detective or to give Pinkerton any official assistance. Pinkerton’s opponents are only a little less varied than Nick Carter’s or Sexton Blake’s. Pinkerton intervenes to solve the conspiracy behind President McKinley’s assassination. Pinkerton fights “Chinese Karl,” the Yellow Peril lord of New York’s Chinatown, fights pirates on the Hudson, a killer mesmerist, a rogue lion tamer, Oka-Yuma, an Evil Surgeon, a thinly-disguised Irene Adler, nihilists in Chicago, a monstrous altered hound courtesy of the Dr. Moreau-like Mad Scientist Doctor Myann, a murderous orangutan, the Big-Headed Dwarf Genius Yellow Peril Li Lo Tsching, a U-boat pirate, a lethal Lupin, a subterranean city inhabited by the descendants of Lost Race escaped slaves, and Professor Fox, Pinkerton’s Moriarty. Pinkerton even meets A.J. Raffles in the film serial Raffles Contro Nat Pinkerton (1912).
Pinkerton appears in stories with titles like "The Devil's Automobile," "The Armoire of Cadavers," "In the Den of the Sea Criminals," and "Mr. Kennedy's Orangutan."
* I'm including Nat Pinkerton, der König der Detectivs in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because Nat Pinkerton was an archetypal character and Nat Pinkerton was full of imaginative content. There were never any Nat Pinkerton dime novels or pulps in the United States, so Pinkerton himself was never an ongoing affair or important character to American audiences. But outside of the United States, Nat Pinkerton was the archetypal Nick Carter (I)-style detective, equaling and surpassing Carter in popularity and reach during the 1907-1915 period of Nat Pinkerton's lifespan. Pinkerton was a global phenomenon during that time period, with a popularity that only Sherlock Holmes ever beat. Put simply, from 1907 to around 1919 Nat Pinkerton was what people around Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, and the Middle East thought of when they thought of an action-oriented detective. Helping matters were the ideasplosions in Nat Pinkerton and in many of the unauthorized sequels of Nat Pinkerton. Pinkerton had a very good Rogues Gallery who the authors of Nat Pinkerton were never shy about using (or killing off, only to bring them back again several or many issues later). Pinkerton traveled around the world fighting crime and solving mysteries in his stories. The Nat Pinkerton authors seemingly had an encyclopedic knowledge of pulpy tropes, and used them all in the Pinkerton stories. Good quality heftroman stories with a lot of imaginative content. What's not to like?
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