Person:Arthur Koehler (1)

Arthur Koehler
Facts and Events
Name Arthur Koehler
Gender Male
Birth[1][2] 4 Jun 1885 Mishicot (town), Manitowoc, Wisconsin, United States
Death? 1967

Arthur Koehler was a chief wood technologist at the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin, and was important in the development of wood forensics in the 1930s through his role in the investigation of the Lindbergh kidnapping. Koehler’s particular research interest in the identification, cellular structure and growth of wood gave him the specific training and abilities necessary for the careful examination of the ladder which had been used by the abductor of Charles Lindbergh, Jr., aged twenty months, and the tracing of the ladder to a company in McCormick, South Carolina. Koehler, from there, traced the wood of the ladder to a Bronx lumber yard.

In the trial of Bruno Hauptmann, Koehler brought out his evidence which helped to indict Hauptmann of the kidnapping and sent Hauptmann to the electric chair. After it was discovered that plank had disappeared from Hauptmann's attic, Koehler brought out his evidence: the wood he traced to Hauptmann. He proved, by fitting the two pieces together, that the attic board matched with the ladder rail used by the kidnapper, giving evidence that Hauptmann built the ladder. His evidence brought to the jury's decision to execute Bruno Hauptmann.

  1. United States. Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. (Washington, D.C.: National Archives Microfilm Publication M1509, 1987-1988).

    Registration State: Wisconsin; Registration County: Dane; Roll: 1674750;

  2. Wisconsin, United States. Wisconsin Births and Christenings, 1826-1926. (FamilySearch Record Search).

    FHL Film Number:1305080