Philip Deidesheimer: Jewish Mine Support Engineer of the Comstock Lode, Virginia City, Nevada

Philip Deidesheimer

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Philip Deideshiemer

Philip Deideshiemer

Philip Deidesheimer was born in Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany in 1832.

He was educated at the Freiberg School of Mining before coming to America.

 

Along the way

At the age of 19, Philip Deidesheimer worked in the California Gold Fields in Georgetown.

 

Virginia City, Nevada

In 1860, Deidesheimer was hired to create a safe structure system at the Ophir Mine at the Comstock Lode in Virginia City.

He invented a system of supports for the mines, using heavy square timbers known as square set timbering.

Deidesheimer  did not patent his innovation, and it became standard throughout the Comstock and other Western mines.

He was made Superintendent of the Ophir Mine by in 1875.

Timber Structure of the Comstock

Timber Structure of the Comstock

Philip Deideshiemer continued his mining career at the Young America Mine in Sierra City, California, where he became rich — a fortune he eventually lost.

Deidesheimer also designed and supervised construction of a smelter in Granite County, Montana. The town was named Philipsburg in his honor.

His Comstock story was a subject of an episode of Bonanza in Season One.

Philip Deidesheimer  died in 1916, in San Francisco.

The "Bonanza" Deideshiemer Story

Bonanza, the Deideshiemer story

Source

Note: At the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, Nevada, Philip Deidesheimer is listed as a German engineer. Deidesheimer had been a native of Germany, but was not allowed to become a citizen because he was Jewish.