George Herman Deike
AIME Erskine Ramsay Medal* in 1955
Under his direction as an administrator, inventor, and manufacturer of safety appliances, his company has become pre-eminent in the manufacture of industrial safety equipment. He has been a leader in the application of scientific research in the promotion of safety and efficiency in industry. His company has recently dedicated the world's largest research center devoted exclusively to the development of safety equipment. This laboratory, one of the most modern of its kind, symbolizes his basic philosophy-Keep ahead of safety needs in the mining industry. Mr. Deike, with all his business responsibilities, has always taken a very active part in civic and community activities, and his genial personality and his humane qualities have endeared him to his host of friends everywhere.
George Herman Deike was born in Brooklyn in 1879. At the age of 19 he served in the Spanish American War. Following his discharge, he received a B.S. degree in Mining Engineering in 1903 from Pennsylvania State College. Successively he was mine surveyor with J. S. Silliman & Co., and mining engineer with the Charleroi Coal Works. In 1906 he opened and placed in operation a new mine for the Adena Mining Co., then was mining engineer with the Creighton Coal Works, and later Mine Superintendent in charge of operations at the Mosgrove Coal Works of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. He entered the newly formed U. S. Bureau of Mines in 1911 where he remained until he founded the Mine Safety Appliances Co. with John T. Ryan in 1914. He was President and Treasurer of this company until 1953 when he was elected Chairman of the Board. In addition to this office, Mr. Deike is President, Treasurer, and Director of Catalyst Research Corp., President and Director of Pennsylvania Research Corp., Director of Potter Bank and Trust Co., Director of Carbon Monoxide Eliminator Corp., Director of Grant Bldg., Inc., Director of Follansbee Steel Corp., and Trustee of the Dollar Savings Bank.
Throughout his career, Mr. Deike has fought to decrease mine accidents and the success of his efforts is proved by the fact that in 1953 fatalities in coal mining were the lowest in statistical history. A long held dream of Mr. Deike was realized in 1950 when he dedicated the John T. Ryan Memorial Laboratory in Pittsburgh, for the promotion of safety.
In 1952, Mr. Deike received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Penn State, the highest honor conferred by that University. He has been a member of AIME since 1915 and lives in Pittsburgh.