Samuel Diescher

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Samuel Diescher
Born (1839-06-25)June 25, 1839
Died December 24, 1915(1915-12-24) (aged 76)
Occupation Civil and mechanical engineer
Years active 1866-1908
Known for Inclines, machinery for the Ferris wheel
Spouse(s) Caroline Endres

Samuel Diescher, a prominent civil and mechanical engineer, was born in Budapest,[1] educated at Karlsruhe Polytechnique and at the University of Zurich. Coming to the United States in 1866, he settled in Cincinnati, where he built his first inclined plane. He came to Pittsburgh and was associated with John Endres, the builder of the Monongahela Incline. He married Endres daughter, Caroline Endres, who was one of the first female engineers in the United States.[2] Thereafter, the Dieschers made their home on Mount Washington. His sons entered into partnership with him in 1901, under the name of Samuel Diescher & Sons.

Diescher designed water works, industrial buildings and plants, coal handling equipment, furnaces for the steel industry, and miscellaneous machinery for tasks ranging from soap making to steel fabrication to sugar beet processing. He also designed the majority of inclined planes in the United States, including numerous inclines in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania. The most notable of these is the Duquesne Incline which has become a popular tourist attraction in the city of Pittsburgh. Other works included the Castle Shannon Incline, the Castle Shannon South Incline, Penn Incline, Fort Pitt Incline, Troy Hill Incline, Nunnery Hill Incline, Clifton Incline, Ridgewood Incline and the Johnstown Inclined Plane; as well as inclines in Wheeling, WV, Cleveland, OH, Duluth, MN, Orange, NJ, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and Girardot and Camboa, Colombia. He was the chief engineer for the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad.[3][4]

He also designed the machinery for the famous Ferris wheel at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and an energy generating plant for the U. S. Wave Power Company in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

He was active in highway engineering and street-railway construction, and he was well known for designing and building coal-washing plants, coke works, water works, machine shops, and rolling mills. He retired in 1908 and died on December 24, 1915.