The Phillip Diedesheimer Story Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #01, Episode #08
Bonanza is NBC’s longest-running American Western television series, lasting 14 seasons. The hour-long adventures of Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene), the triple-widowed owner of the fictional Ponderosa ranch, and his three adult sons, Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker), and Little Joe, drew a sizable and devoted audience during its heyday.
The Phillip Diedesheimer Story, written by Thomas Thompson, was first aired on October 31, 1959.
Engineer Phillip Diedesheimer (John Beal) arrives in Virginia City and develops a “square set” timbering system in collaboration with Adam Cartwright to keep the Deep Silver Mines safe from cave-ins. When the mine owners refuse to pay Diedesheimer for his efforts, trouble ensues.
Upon Adam’s friend’s death in a mine collapse, the Cartwright brothers set out to give Deidesheimer a chance he deserves.
Mala Powers plays Helene, R.G. Armstrong as Andrew Holloway, and Charles Cooper plays Gil Fenton. Moreover, Paul Birch acts as Tregallis, Robert Osterloh plays Casey, Howard Negley as Dr. Wesley, and silent-film veteran Mae Marsh plays a townswoman.
Read its plot, including some astounding trivia, or enjoy the entire episode listed below.
Watch the full episode of The Phillip Diedesheimer Story
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The Phillip Diedesheimer Story, Bonanza’s eighth episode, stars a few of the show’s recurring and one-time supporting cast members in addition to the main cast.
The episode features the following characters:
- Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright (credit only)
- Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
- Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
- Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright (credit only)
- John Beal as Phillip Diedesheimer
- Mala Powers as Helene Holloway
- R.G. Armstrong as Andrew Holloway
- Charles Cooper as Gil Fenton
- Paul Birch as Tregallis
- Robert Osterloh as Casey
- William Forrest as Mine Owner
- Alan Reynolds as Mine Owner
- Howard Negley as Doctor
- Mae Marsh as Mary
- Willie Bloom as Miner (uncredited)
- Blondie Bronzell as Miner (uncredited)
- Forest Burns as Miner (uncredited)
- Bill Clark as Miner (uncredited)
- Jimmy Dime as Miner (uncredited)
- John George as Miner (uncredited)
- Chuck Hamilton as Miner (uncredited)
- Ethan Laidlaw as Miner (uncredited)
- William Meader as Mining Clerk (uncredited)
- Bob Miles as Waiter (uncredited)
- Jack Perkins as Brawler (uncredited)
- Jack Perry as Miner (uncredited)
- Victor Romito as Mine Owner (uncredited)
- Cosmo Sardo as Mine Owner (uncredited)
- Carl Saxe as Brawler (uncredited)
- Jack Tornek as Miner (uncredited)
- Chalky Williams as Miner (uncredited)
Full Story Line of The Phillip Diedesheimer Story
Virginia City’s mines are dangerous. The current timbering method cannot support the depth and width of the silver veins. Many mines have previously collapsed, ultimately leading to the death of many miners.
When a mine collapse occurs in the Ophir Mine, Adam investigates the situation with his good friend and mine foreman, Gil Fenton. Andrew Holloway, the Ophir owner, also hired Engineer Phillip Diedesheimer to look further into the case. However, another collapse occurs during their investigation, trapping Adam and Diedesheimer and killing Gil. The situation only fueled the two survivors’ determination to solve the problem.
Diedesheimer devises a square set: the more secure mine support. It requires a lot of wood, but the benefits and guaranteed safety make up for this cost. However, the additional lumber needed drives the interest of the mine owners away. Moreover, they even accuse Adam of attempting to make more money by selling Ponderosa timber.
Not one to accept defeat, Adam, Hoss, and Diedesheimer proceed to install the new square set in the Ophir. They put the system to the test by detonating a dynamite bomb nearby. The new mine system caught the attention of the mine owners, so they took the chance to inspect it. The new timbering method saved their lives, eventually leading to their agreement to invest in the new system.
Full Script and Dialogue of The Phillip Diedesheimer Story
♪ ♪ Mmm. What's this for? Because I love you. And because this is my engagement party. Now, remember, you promised... No talking about mine business tonight. Promise? I promise. Well, here he is. How did you ever pry him away? It wasn't too hard to do. Well, I told him if he didn't come to this party, I'd refuse to be best man and marry you myself. I didn't want to take that chance. Forget about being superintendent for one night, Gil. The mine will run all right without you. I sent the night shift back to work on the third level. You what? I told you we couldn't work the third level without new timbering. Dad, you promised no mine talk. Gil, cave in, third level. The whole shift is trapped. All right, everybody, stand back! Give us room! My boy. Where's my boy? It's all right, Mary. I'll find him. Mr. Holloway, you promised us new safety timbering. I'm doing all I can. Come on, dear. You ought to go home. It's all right. He'll be all right. I know it. You said that third level wasn't safe, but you sent the shift in anyway. You said yourself it wasn't safe! Get out of the way, Tregallis. You used to be one of us. Now you're marrying Holloway's daughter. Gil's doing everything he can, Tregallis. When? Like always? When it's too late? My kid brother's down there. Now, you get out of my way, Cartwright. All right, stand back. It's coming up now. Give us room. There's two of them. Move on back. It's Pat! Pat! All right, bring him on out. Pat, oh, thank God you're here. East slope. Third level. Every timber seemed to buckle at once as they set off a blast above us. Same as last week. Every time it's the same thing. Move out of the way. Gil, you're not going down there, are you? If I'd stayed down there where I belong, this might not have happened. Don't let what Tregallis said get under your hide. If my kid brother was trapped down there, I'd think of something worse to say than Tregallis said. Adam, you don't have to come down with me. It's my timber you're using, isn't it? All right, Bud, let her go. How do they stand it time after time? It's like living on top of a powder keg, waiting for that disaster whistle to blow. That's part of mining, Helene. Enter it on the report. Make sure each of the widows gets the usual box of groceries. Yes, sir. A box of groceries in exchange for a dead husband. That's company policy. It's a terrible thing. I'm sorry this had to happen tonight and spoil your party, Helene. Helene, this is ridiculous. It's 2:00 o'clock in the morning. Let's go home and get some sleep. Daddy, those women won't sleep tonight. They each have a man down there, and so do I. Gil. Oh. Oh, Girl, are you all right? I'm all right. Do you want to tell them? Tell them what? That there's nobody else coming up out of there. Not tonight. Not ever. How soon can you give me a report? It will be on your desk. Cold black figures against a white piece of paper. Five dead, two dying, five missing, 14 injured. But no slow-up in production, Mr. Holloway. Does that make you happy? Stop it, Gil. I'm sick of it! Gil, you shouldn't have gone down there. No, that's right. I should have stayed at the party. I'm a superintendent now, and the men I used to work with aren't human beings anymore. Aren't you being a little melodramatic? Am I? You... You should have been down there with us. That was melodramatic, too. I've had my share of mine disasters. But you don't have to face those men every day, or those women. I do. It's not my job to manage the men. Not your job? Or haven't you got the guts to stand up to them and order them into a mine that isn't safe enough for a rat? The Ophir is as safe as any mine on the Comstock. That's saying a lot, isn't it?! Gil, please. What were you doing down there? I was checking the timbering. I've got a man hired to do that. I know. Phillip Diedesheimer. I was hoping to talk with him. I run the Ophir mine, Adam. You sell me timber for that mine. It's worked out very well for both of us. Suppose we keep it that way? Would you like a brandy? You must be tired, Helene. Come over here. Sit down. Close to me a minute. I want to talk to you about Gil. Now, I'm as fond of Gil as you are. If I didn't think he'd make you a good husband, I'd have fired him instead of promoting him. Gil's a superintendent now. He doesn't have to go underground anymore. Daddy... those men are his friends. You-You can't expect him to forget that. I had to forget it. It's a lesson I had to learn. Stay on your own level. That's my job, and I have to do it. Don't you think I have bosses? My bosses have no faces. No hearts, no souls. But they've got a stock certificate, and if I get soft or sentimental, they use it as a club to beat my brains out. I fought a long time to get what I've got. And I'll fight to keep it. I believe Gil was thinking about preventing another accident, not about your stockholders. Honey, believe me, it gets pretty lonely up here on this level. The higher a man stands, the farther he can see. I have to do what I think's best for the most people. Try to understand that. I am trying to understand it, Dad. Well, good morning. How'd you get into town so early? I yanked him out of bed, that's why. Coffee? No, thanks. Gil, you still think it'd be worthwhile for me to talk to Diedesheimer? My future father-in-law doesn't seem to think so, but I still do. That's why Holloway likes you. You stand up to him. Hey, who's gonna pay for this? I don't know... and I'm too sleepy to try and figure it out. I can't figure out who's going to pay for it on an empty stomach. Better bring me another steak. Mr. Fenton, Mr. Fenton. Look, I, uh, want to talk to you. What is it, Tregallis? Well, last night my kid brother was down in the mine. I should have known he'd be all right. Well, I said things I shouldn't have. It's all right, Tregallis, I understand. Well, I-I wouldn't want to lose my job or anything like that, you know? You won't, not over this. Thanks. Gil? Same old Gil. You ain't changed. A-A-And listen, all this talk about shutting down the mine for safety tests and all that... don't you do it, Gil. Long as there's a hole in the ground, me and the boys will go down into it. We don't want to lose no day's pay 'cause somebody's afraid of getting a rock on top of the head. And Mr. Cartwright, I don't blame you for poking me in the whiskers, but next time, don't do it so hard. Have you seen Phillip Diedesheimer? The Dutchman? I don't understand that one. He's the only man I ever knew who could look a hole straight through you without even seeing you. Well, has he been around? He's been down in that hole since ten minutes after you left last night. Either he comes up for air pretty soon or he's gonna find nobody here to work this hoist when he rings that bell. Will you stay around for a little while? Take care of this for me, will you, Casey? Gil. Oh, Gil, I've been looking all over for you. Not now, dear. Adam and I want to go down below and look around for a minute. If it were another woman I could face it, but to have a silver mine for a romantic rival... Hey-hey... Oh, Gil, please be careful. If anything happened to you... Off you go. All right, let 'er go! Good, sound timbering, Gil. But it just isn't holding. Phillip! Phillip Diedesheimer! It is not usually so, but here in these mines there's such great variance of temperatures. There's a constant shrinking and expanding of the earth itself. When I took my pick and loosened this hanging wall behind the uprights, so... You caved this in deliberately? You might have been killed, man. So... The important thing is five men were killed last night. You see, Gil, there's an unusual side pressure against these uprights. And without tower braces to prevent side motion... Phillip, this is Adam Cartwright. Adam, Phillip Diedesheimer. Mr. Cartwright. Hadn't you better take some time off? Get some rest. Have something to eat. Oh, the widows of those men, they have no appetite this morning, Gil. Neither have I. You mention tower bracing, Mr. Cartwright. You, perhaps, worked in construction, no? Well, I supply the timber for the mine. My father and I and my brothers, we have a ranch. And what a ranch, Phillip. The Ponderosa, a thousand square miles of it. And wait till you see the house. Adam designed and built it to last a hundred years. Oh? You must see it. Yeah, yeah. There are so many things in your beautiful country that I must see. But how can I look at beauty when men are dying? Given time as one of the factors, there is no problem in engineering that cannot be solved. Mr. Diedesheimer, Gil's told me a great deal about you, and... Well, I don't mean to be presumptuous, but if you'd care to have me go over your stress calculations with you... What I mean, is that, uh, if you'd like to use me as a sounding board, I've kept up with my mathematics. It would mean a great deal to me to have someone to talk with. Someone who understood the engineering problem. Well, I'd be honored, Mr. Diedesheimer. Well, then you call me "Phillip," huh? So we do not waste time. Come in here with your picks, boys. Are you all right? Yeah. Where's Gil? He was right behind us. Can you see him? No. Gil? Gil, can you hear me?! Well, what do we do now? We wait. Just as thousands before us have waited. And we think of many things. That is the final refuge of a man, when he's... completely alone. He can think. Get out of the way! Get out of the way! My brother's down there! Hoss. I just heard about it, Miss Helene. Don't worry none. Gil's going to be all right, ma'am. Please don't do that, ma'am. Everything's going to be all right. Sorry, Mr. Cartwright. I have orders to let no outsiders go down. Well, your orders just changed. Let 'er go, Bo! Wait a minute, boys. Wait a minute. Adam, huh. Answer them. Get in there, boys, with your shovels. Get the loose stuff out. What are you thinking about now? I was thinking that perhaps after today... we will not let a mine fall on our heads again. I hope not. Well, there is a simple way. All we have to do is... never again go into a mine. So many people make that decision in life. So very many... No use, boys. May as well give up. They don't answer the signal no more. They're back of that wall of rock, but we're too late. They don't answer anymore. Give me that shovel. Okay, bud, okay. That's good. Give me some light. Hi, Adam. It's about time you got here. Gil's back there somewhere. Adam... There ain't nothing back there but 500 ton of rock. All right, let 'er down. How are you, Mr. Diedesheimer? All right, Phil, see if you can make it. Got him, Hoss? Yeah, I got him. Easy, easy. You might have a broken bone. There's one of 'em, boys. Let's get him. Take him out, boys. Here we are. You all right? Yeah, come on. Here they come. Gil! Where's Gil? Miss Helene, I... I want to talk to you. Oh, that Gil. He's always the first one down and the last one up. I suppose he's still down there looking around. That's what it is, Hoss, isn't it? Ma'am, let me take you home. Oh, no. No, I've, I've got to wait here for Gil. He promised me nothing would happen to him. He promised me! Oh, Hoss, oh, Hoss, tell me nothing's happened. Ma'am, I... I can't lie to you. I, I can't make it no easier on you. Then I've got to go down. I've got to see him. Don't you understand? I've got to see him! I've got to see him! Oh, Gil... Oh... Gil... Where's Gil? He's still down there. Well, go get him, Adam. I want to talk to him. What I'm trying to tell you is... What he means is... Gil is dead, Daddy. What? That's the word he was looking for, "dead." But it's a dirty word and no one wants to say it. Not here in this house. Not on this level. The stockholders might hear. Dead is a word for, for men who work down in the ground, not for people like us. We, we can't talk about a man who's buried under 50 tons of rock, but he's dead just the same! Oh, Daddy! Helene. I'll give her a sedative. You come along. You, too. Gil, dead? Well, I'll have to hire a new superintendent. Mr. Holloway... if that's the first thing you thought about, I feel real sorry for you. Well, I guess that should about do it. Thanks, doc. Mr. Diedesheimer? I told you to get some rest. Now, you're pushing yourself much too far. Would you rest, doctor, if there were a plague afoot and somewhere in that little black bag of yours, there was a pill you knew could cure it? Would you rest until you had found that pill? Well, my head is like your little black bag. Somewhere inside it, is a pill of information, long forgotten... A solution to these mine disasters. I have to find that pill, doctor! Well, you better slow down or I won't be responsible. Every man is responsible to himself, doctor. Does your head feel good enough to use? Let's get to work. Now... Mr. Diedesheimer, I've been thinking... Are you an engineer? Well, no, but... Then I'm not in the least interested in what you've been thinking. Please go. Now, wait a minute! This is my home! At the moment, it is my office, and I want no interruptions. Please. Now... So we have... Why ain't you at work? Mr. Holloway, I refuse to send those men back down. You "refuse"? I believe the same as Gil. Close down a few days. Get a chance to make some proper tests and experiments. Casey, you're fired. What? I said, "You're fired." Tregallis? Can you handle Casey's job? Mr. Holloway... I never did want to see you shut down. Like I said to Gil last time I talked to him, "I can get that shift back to work." See that you do. Another thing I'd do, Mr. Holloway. I'd order that Dutchman to stay away from the men. He wastes an awful lot of time. I'd tell him to take care of his own work. Leave our boys alone. You're in charge. Go tell him. He's right upstairs. That's the problem, Adam, and it is increasing every day. The veins of silver grow wider the deeper they go. I know and the U-bracing that we use in a narrow stope becomes worthless in a 65-foot wide gallery. And it is not only the overhead pressure, Adam. There's a constant side pressure as well. I want to talk to you, Dutchman. Vertical bracing and cap pieces certainly, but it would be standing so thick a man couldn't get through. I'm in charge now. We are very busy. And even the tower bracing you suggested... Listen to me when I'm talking to you! You're going to take orders, just like the rest of the men! But how are you going to get 65-foot timbers down a mine shaft? And I want you to stay away from the men, hear me? They're down there to work, not to visit with you. And there's another thing, Dutchman... I believe in a little formality. Now, where were we? Oh, yeah... Miss Helene? Miss Helene... I know you're sorry. That's not exactly what I was going to say, ma'am. Folks mean well when they say that they're sorry. It's like when my mama was still alive. I remember I used to mash my finger and she'd kiss it and tell me the pain was all gone. It wasn't really. It's just that now when I try to remember the pain, all I can remember is my mama kissing it away. So I smile bravely and lift my head... and there never was a Gil Fenton in my life. No. No, you... You can sometimes forget the pain, but... you can't ever forget the love. Never. There's gonna always be a Gil Fenton in your life. I remember I was in love once with a girl. As much in love as a man can be, I reckon. I guess that sounds a little funny coming from me, don't it? Oh, no, it doesn't, Hoss. She died. I know that my pa and Adam and Little Joe were sorry. But that just wasn't enough. Not right then, it wasn't. What did you do? I talked to God. He told me I was just going to have to keep on living. May I have permission to enter your mine, Mr. Tregallis? All right. Go ahead. Diedesheimer! Adam told me to find you and tell you that, that number six had shifted. And that the tower braces were ten degrees out of plumb, whatever that means. It means, Hoss, that we now know one more thing that will not work. It means, also, that we must still find the one thing that will work. Oh, he told me I ought to talk you into getting some rest, too. Well, he may have said it, but he didn't mean for me to do it. But it would be good. So good. Stretch out for a while... Close my eyes against the sun and feel the life of the earth beneath me. But I would feel only the death, Hoss. Only the death. You feel all right, Mr. Diedesheimer? "All right"? I don't know. That is a relative question, no? I know only that my head is so full of vertical braces and cross braces and cap pieces and stulls and timbers, that my brain is like a bee swarm of unrelated facts, buzzing and churning, and working within a hive. A honeycomb... A honeycomb! Sir? I have it, Hoss! I have it! You got what? Go get me some one-inch boards, soft pine that I can cut with a jackknife. Go bring them to my room. I go get Adam. Why did I not see this, Adam? Each surface bearing on the other. The ratio of strength of each side of a honeycomb to the combined weight of the honey. Gently now. Gently. Come. Thank you, Hoss. Now what in the blazes? The solution, Mr. Holloway. The solution to every cave-in and slippage problem in the Comstock mines. Hoss, please. Clean place on the table. Thank you. Miss Helene, look here what Mr. Diedesheimer and Adam built. Show 'em how it works, Mr. Diedesheimer. You mean that's a system of mine bracing? It's the most perfect system I've ever seen in my whole life. Are you such an expert? No, but Mr. Diedesheimer is. Phillip, why don't you explain the principle? You see, Mr. Holloway... I can see the principle. A square, open-sided, tower-bracing box, bearing equal pressure from all angles. Mm-hmm, and I suppose as the stope is dug wider, you propose to add another box. You can add them above, too. You can even build a floor in it. Very interesting, gentlemen. And very expensive. We can't use it. Dad... aren't you even going to consider it? But look at it, honey. It's a child's toy, a plaything of an impractical dreamer. You didn't even give them a chance. A chance to what? Play with toys while I've got a mine to run? You think I'm going to rip out the timbering I've got in that mine to try some crazy, new idea? But the timbering system you have is no good. We've been operating successfully with it for a long time now. Can't you understand I've got stockholders to think about? Oh, yes, I understand. You and your faceless stockholders. Well, I have somebody to think about, too. Only he had a face and a body and arms to hold me with. And he's buried under 50 tons of rock, and you put him there! Helene! Wait a minute. Where are you going? Where do the rest of the mine widows go? If you'd only listen to me. I'm through listening to you, Father. And don't forget to send me my box of groceries. Oh. We've been looking for you. Oh, I've been looking for myself, Adam. Yeah, this new model's coming along great. Well, I have created a good thing. But that is all it is... A thing, a handful of smoke. What good is it to write a book, if nobody reads it? Or to compose a song, if nobody ever sings it? Or to invent a new way of timbering a mine, if it is not used? Don't you worry. It'll be used, all right. When? When?! When another hundred men have died needlessly? It's such a radical departure from anything we've done before. Just take time to sell it to anyone. Only the dead have time to wait, Adam. And we are concerned with the living. Well, the Ophir isn't the only mine on the Comstock. There's the, uh, Yellow Jacket, Gould and Curry, and the Mexican. We know the owners. We've sold timber to all of them. All we have to do is sell one of them the idea. Look, I am not a fishmonger, Adam, hawking a product on the streets. Well, then you let me worry about that end of it. You just finish this new model. Looks pretty elaborate. Oh, it's quite simple, really. A series of cribs, each surface bearing on the other. Now, that takes care of your side motion, which has been one of your big problems. Now, also, you see, with the wide veins that you're starting to hit, you can timber as you stope in merely by adding another crib. Now, the same holds true with working up above or down below, which is an impossibility with your present timbering. Now, here, you could have an ore shoot running diagonally right up here through the sets. Any idea of the cost? Well, really hadn't gone into it. I think Mr. Diedesheimer was more concerned with safety rather than cost. Yeah, I'd heard that he was pretty much of a dreamer. Well, thanks for showing it to us, Adam. Hey! Ain't you even going to let him finish telling you about it? Oh, I've seen enough to recognize the fact that the cost would be prohibitive. I'm afraid you'll have to figure out some other way of selling timber, Adam. You mean to tell me you think that's all Adam and Mr. Diedesheimer have been doing day and night, is figuring out another way to sell timber? Oh, stay out of it, Hoss. I won't stay out of it. I don't like what this woodpecker's saying to you. Oh, really, now. We don't have to pretend with each other. We're in the mining business to make money and you should be able to understand that. No Cartwright ever made a move unless there was a dollar in it for him someplace. Mister, you're the biggest flannel-mouth liar on the Comstock. Do you know who I am? I sure do. And you do, too, 'cause I just got through telling you. My brother isn't the world's finest diplomat, but he's managed to express my own feelings pretty accurately. Well... It might work. Sure, but the system we're using now can be put in for one tenth the cost. Why did Holloway ever hire that Dutchman in the first place? Oh, now, don't sell Holloway short. He hires this safety engineer and the crusaders leave him alone. I know, but now he's come up with this fantastic idea... You don't find Holloway using it, do you? Well, is there anybody else we can talk to, Adam? No, that's about all of them. Besides I'm tired of talking. You ain't gonna give up, are you? No, I said, "I'm tired of talking." Well, what are we going to do? Well, what do the Cartwrights always do when it comes right down to it? We'll do it ourselves. You mean we're going to make a big one of these things and stick it down in old Holloway's mine without even telling him about it? Why tell him? He'll know it's there when he sees it tomorrow. "Tomorrow"? I said "tomorrow." Adam, I heard you and Mr. Diedesheimer talking and them timbers are big; they got to be milled and cut. How you gonna do all that by tomorrow? Well, now, we own a sawmill, don't we? Now, we'll just give this job to our younger brother and tell him it's impossible to do. Yeah, that ought to do it. "We'll get started first thing in the morning," that's what old Adam said. And we will, too. You wait and see. When my pa and Adam and my younger brother, Little Joe, put their head to something, it gets done. You're very proud of your family, aren't you, Hoss? Yes, sir, I sure am. Oh, it's a fine thing to have a strong family. Yes, sir. Pa's always kept us mighty close together. You see, we're just half brothers. Oh? Yes, sir. My pa has had a terrible lot of tragedy in his life. "Tragedy." Yeah. But this has made of him a finer man. And it's helped draw you all closer together as a family, no? Yes, sir. I reckon it has. The girl, Helene... You must try to make her see this. Hoss, right now, she sees only her own loss. But nothing is lost, ever. And nothing is ever destroyed. The miners who were killed because of improper timbering in these mines, they have found a new method of timbering, Hoss. I did not do it, they did. I am only the instrument that carried out the plan, no more than that. Mr. Diedesheimer folks are going to remember you for an awful long time. Miss Helene. Sit down, Miss Holloway. Please. What's the matter? "Matter"? I've been walking around, looking into the faces of women who have lost their husbands in the mines. I've been searching their eyes, wondering if they know my father is a murderer. Ma'am, you shouldn't ought to talk like that. Not about your own pa. No. Maybe he ain't done all he could do, but at least he's tried. He hired Mr. Diedesheimer. But he hasn't let him do anything. And he won't. Well, it don't really make no difference if he don't. 'Cause we're gonna do it anyhow. What do you mean? Pa and Adam and Little Joe are up there in the hills right now at the sawmill milling the timber we're going to put down that mine, so Mr. Diedesheimer here can make the test he wants to make. Does my father know about this? Well, I... I reckon Adam sort of forgot to tell him. Do you really think that my father and the other mine owners would let you do this? Oh, ma'am, we ain't gonna charge him for it. Besides, how they gonna stop us? Stop you? Hoss, don't you understand? They can hire 50 men with clubs to stop you if they want to. What'd they want to do a thing like that for? I'm afraid this does go much further than, uh, a test installation, Hoss. Once it's in there, and the men see it, they won't be satisfied with any other system of timbering. Mr. Diedesheimer, do you want that timber down there in that mine? Yeah, very much, Hoss. Well, we're gonna put it down there for you. And if any of them fellas try to stop us, well, I... I reckon that'll be my business. I didn't really think they'd do it. I reckon you must know 'em better than I do. I don't see my father with them. There's a rumor around that you plan to do some special timbering in Mr. Holloway's mine. Well, this is one time that a rumor's correct. You Cartwrights don't own this mine. You've got no business here. Now, you don't own this mine, either, mister. Why don't you let Mr. Holloway tell me? We haven't been able to find Mr. Holloway, but his interests are ours, and we're here to see that they're protected. Take him off there. All right, break this up! I'm still in charge here! Andrew! We couldn't find you. We came here to protect your interests. I can take care of my own interest. And that's just what I've been doing. But they were planning to build some of those monkey cages down in your mine. I'm aware of what they were planning to do. I'm helping them to do it. Why, Andrew, have you lost your senses? No, I haven't lost my senses. I've just found them. How long since any of you have been down in one of your mines? Well, maybe you should, gentlemen. I just did and I don't like what I saw. I don't know if Mr. Diedesheimer's system of timbering will work or not, but he's going to get a chance to try it. Adam and the other boys will unload that lumber right where you want it. If you need me, well, just holler. Fine. Exactly. This is fine. You go now, huh? Thank you. Are you satisfied, Phillip? It is still an impractical man's dream, Adam. An invention is never completed until it is put to the test of serving the purpose for which it was designed. Well, you wait for me up above. Huh? I would like to stay here and look at this for awhile. Oh, no, you don't. What's the matter? I found your bag... with the powder; you didn't do a good job of hiding it. It's too dangerous, Adam. I'm game if you are. I don't want any more men killed. Neither do I. But I would like to be with you. Sort of a promise I made to Gil. All right. We'll see this thing through together. This is good. Now, for the final test. Why, you're wasting our time, Holloway. You better take a good look at it, because you're going to see a lot of this kind of timbering from now on. Not in my mine, you won't. Well... this is it. Good luck, Phillip. Come. Mr. Holloway, you should not be here. It's still my mine, and these gentlemen are a little hard to convince. You don't understand. We're making a test. Don't test it too hard or your monkey cage will fall down on your head. I hope not, gentlemen. I believe not. But we will soon know. We've set a blast to test it. I can imagine your being down here with a blast about to go off. Your workmen do it every day, don't they? Oh, yes, but with... With your present system of timbering. Well, you're standing under some of it now. You may stay here if you feel safer. I prefer to stay over here. So do I. Why, you fool, we'll all be killed! Boys, the old timbering is right behind you. Go ahead and stay under it. You'd better hurry. Well, I think this held up rather well, don't you, gentlemen? Very impressive. But I still won't hold still for it. And why not? Isn't it pretty obvious? This man undoubtedly has a patent on his timbering system, and plans to rob us blind collecting royalties. I am afraid I'm not so wise as you. I do not know the dollar and cent worth of a human life. I only know it is very dear. I have no patent, no desire to charge royalty. If my invention saves human lives, surely that is payment enough for any man. Wait a moment, Phillip. Ladies and gentlemen, we have just made a practical test of the new Diedesheimer system of timbering. Any of these gentlemen here can attest to the fact that it was a complete success. I'm closing the Ophir till it's completely re-timbered with the Diedesheimer square sets. Every man will be paid his regular wages while the work goes on. Ladies and gentlemen. Here's the man who's put an end to all the mine cave-ins on the Comstock, Mr. Phillip Diedesheimer. Every mine owner will have to put in square sets now, you watch. This whole town will be sitting on one, big honeycomb. It's a great thing you've done, Phillip. We did it together. Listen, I'm hungry. Ain't you starved? On the contrary, Hoss. Right now, I feel... I feel very full. Mr. Diedesheimer, I told you once that folks was gonna remember you for a awful long time. And they would, too, if they could remember your name, but it's so dang-blasted hard to pronounce. Well, don't worry about that, Hoss. Names are never very important. Anyway, it's easier to pronounce "The Dutchman." Come on, let's get some supper, huh?
Behind the Scenes of The Phillip Diedesheimer Story
This story’s events drew inspiration from the true story of German-born American immigrant engineer Philip Deidesheimer (1832-1916). In 1860, Diedesheimer invented the square set timbering system for the Comstock Lode’s Ophir Mine in Virginia City, Nevada. As depicted in the story, Diedesheimer chose not to patent his revolutionary and life-saving mining innovation.
This episode contains several “firsts” for the series. For example, it has multiple guest star appearances (here, there are two). The “Top-4” (lead) actors have a new intro (scenery, etc.). There are also “credits only” options for actors (here, Lorne Greene and Michael Landon are both “credit only”). Furthermore, the Closing Credits are not “scrolling.”
Hoss mentions his love interest from The Newcomers, Emily Pennington.
This episode was the first for Bonanza not to feature every Cartwright member.
The boom mic’s shadow was visible at the end of the episode.
Hoss recalls his mother playing with him and telling him stories in this episode. His mother’s passing is depicted in the season 5 episode “Journey Remembered” just a few days after his birth.
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Bonanza is a fantastic clean show to watch by yourself or with family. The Phillip Diedesheimer Story is the 08 episode out of 430. Bonanza was produced by NBC and ran on their network from September of 1959 to January of 1973. The whole series lasted 14 seasons.
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