Original owner of image:Jim Linderman
Date of original image: March 7, 1932
Ladder type: Wooden Ladder, Toy Ladder, Pet Ladder
Used for: So this ladder is about the kidnapping of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr, the son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was one of the most highly publicized crimes of the 20th century. But it was the ladder making all the front pages not the accused, a mister Bruno Richard Hauptmann. So read on to find out why dozens of little wooden ladders were sold all because of this awful crime.
How many different web pages is this ladder image on: 390,000+
Where is it: East Amwell, New Jersey, USA
Story behind it: We won’t go into detail on the terrible crime committed, as there is certainly enough for you to find yourself (or just google “Lindbergh kidnapping” like we did) This iconic ladders blog centers on a small aspect of the crime. The same one our tuff-dressed crime busters were centered on as well. They may look like the guys from “American Pickers” entering a honey-hole, but they were trying to find a connection to the central piece of evidence. The ladder! Bruno, or whoever, had to climb up to snatch the child, a horrible thing…and he built a ladder to do it. The ladder became what used to known as “The Macguffin” in Alfred Hitchcock movies. A recurring element which might mean nothing, but could just mean everything. Literally the O.J. gloves of the 1930s.
As the investigation progressed into trial, a spectacle unlike any before due to the nascent and emerging mass-media, slimy vendors sold miniature kidnap ladders outside the courthouse! That’s right. Tiny souvenir wooden ladders, an early example of crime capitalism gone crazy! The tasteless newspapers ran tasteless photographs of tasteless spectators holding tiny tasteless ladders for the camera. Eventually, the ladder became a crucial item of evidence. Schwarzkopf enlisted the aid of wood experts, the most enterprising of whom was Arthur Koehler, of the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin. He had written Lindbergh and volunteered his services. From slivers sent to him, he was able to determine that the ladder was constructed from pine from North Carolina, Douglas fir from the West, birch, and Ponderosa pine. Remarkably, Koehler was able to trace some of the ladder lumber from a mill in South Carolina to a lumber dealer in the Bronx.
The ladder was both crudely and professionally constructed. Some of the joints and connections showed the work of a carpenter, while the pieces of wood that made up the ladder seemed to have been gathered from a variety of sources.
P.S As you can clearly see by the comment below we forgot to linkback to the original post some of this information is from. For that we can only apologize and link back to the fantastic article that is here (if a small portion or article is used then we always link back but unfortunately this didn’t happen here and it’s not right. We wouldn’t like it and rightly so doesn’t the person who wrote it. But we can only hope for forgiveness and a chance to keep this amazing article with the info from this site. –>
Very strange indeed. We just had to bring you this very iconic ladder post because of its sheer fame. But we have tried to reframe from commenting on the case it’s self and hope we have skipped around it as best we can. But if you are interested and want to know more there are lots of articles out there about it. We are just interested in the little wooden ladders.
Do you need some help or advice about buying or choosing the right ladder for the job?
Or maybe you would like to do a guest post or link on our blog!
Then call us on 08450 647 647 or drop us a message over on our Ladders Blog, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter pages. We always reply as quickly as we can and you’ll find plenty of funny and enjoyable posts, stories, images, tips and answers about most the products we sell. Or if you have a question that is bugging you it might be worth taking a look at our frequently asked questions.