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Stanley Keith's Nail Research
Sun Apr 9, 2017 11:03

Stanley Keith took common nail identification technology to a new level in the realm of "fingerprint identification," in much the same Koehler did with the ladder wood evidence. While Koehler had the satisfaction of seeing his work become part of the circumstantial evidence testimony that convicted Hauptmann, Keith's work was deemed unnecessary due to Hauptmann's weak defense, and it was never presented at trial. As an aside, I'm not so sure that was the only reason, as Keith's courtroom charts would also have had to have been much more clearly understood than his research paper, for the Hauptmann Trial jury.

Keith's later article in Iron Age magazine, Oct. 17, 1935, is a challenge to follow all the way through, but it's a brilliant and conclusive piece of research. It demonstrates clearly the condition of the nail production dies at the Monessen, PA facility and their grip die forming characteristics for the common 8d nails produced over the standard period of deterioration of those dies, could not have produced more than 16 individual kegs of nails consistent with the identical grip markings and statistical variances found in both the nails of the kidnap ladder and the nails found in Hauptmann's possession. (from his keg, overalls and nails recovered from his demolished garage)

Keith's degree of certainty was in the order of one half of one thousandth of one percent probability that the two were not from one and the same production run. I'm sure the Pittsburgh Steel Co. Quality Assurance department learned something very valuable from Keith's research and his article.

    • Re: Stanley Keith's Nail Researchsteve for sue, Tue Apr 11 18:11
      ive had this report for years
      • Re: Stanley Keith's Nail ResearchJoe for Steve, Wed Apr 12 09:52
        Hey Steve, do you have a clear copy of Keith's report showing the markings on the nails in the photos? My old copy doesn't look so good.
    • Re: Stanley Keith's Nail ResearchSue for Joe, Sun Apr 9 19:56
      Keith's research probably would have been lost on the Hauptmann jury. Sort of what happened with the Simpson jurors.
      • Re: Stanley Keith's Nail ResearchJoe for Sue, Sun Apr 9 20:17
        You're probably right Sue, unless he had a translator available! He would have need plenty of charts and pictures as his aristocratic use of words and delivery would have stultified. Can you imagine... more
        • Keith's 1935 Iron Age ArticleSue for Joe, Sun Apr 9 21:15
          Joe, Michael submitted the 1935 Iron Age article to Ronelle's board many years ago. You can download the pdf article from her site. Scroll down the page to locate link.... more
          • Re: Keith's 1935 Iron Age Articlesteve for sue, Tue Apr 18 13:08
            I have the article
          • Re: Keith's 1935 Iron Age ArticleJoe for Sue, Mon Apr 10 08:00
            Thanks Sue, I have the Melsky copy of the Keith report from Ronelle's site and the photos aren't clear enough to differentiate the die grip markings. I'll keep an eye out on eBay for that copy of... more
            • Identification of the Lindbergh Ladder NailsSue for Joe, Tue Apr 11 22:31
              Joe, Can you get Keith's 1935 Iron Age article here?
              • Re: Identification of the Lindbergh Ladder NailsJoe for Sue, Wed Apr 12 09:54
                Sue, I'm not sure if this is the actual report as it was originally in the Oct. 17, 1935 issue and this one looks like Dec. 1935. Also, it's only two pages, which makes me think it might be some kind ... more
        • Re: Stanley Keith's Nail ResearchSue for Joe, Sun Apr 9 20:54
          Joe, Have you seen this:
          • Re: Stanley Keith's Nail ResearchJoe for Sue, Mon Apr 10 08:04
            Keith appears to have been the 'Koehler of Nails' and based on all of the information I've seen on the man, he was absolutely thorough in his work but humanly understanding enough to realize that his ... more
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