June 25, 1839|
|Died||December 24, 1915(aged 76)|
|Occupation||Civil and mechanical engineer|
|Known for||Inclines, machinery for the Ferris wheel|
Samuel Diescher, a prominent civil and mechanical engineer, was born in Budapest, 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. 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.
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.
- "SAMUEL DIESCHER -- ENGINEER Builder of The Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania".
- Treese, Lorett (2003). Railroads of Pennsylvania (first ed.). Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. p. 237. ISBN 978-0-8117-2622-1. OCLC 50228411.
- Annual Report. p. 369.
- "The incline builders: Forgotten engineers of Pittsburgh".