Untaught, as far as printed education went, he entered life at the bottom, but with a vision always above and beyond the surrounding horizon, whilst ever holding close to the practical possibilities of the world in which he lived. He advanced, led, always led. Often opposed by the timid and commonplace with whom he sometimes had to work, he generally achieved that which he set out to do, because it was practical, logical and needed.
John Fritz started out with the best of educations — the example of his parents. His clear head, his correct judgment, his justice, his tact and his kindly heart did the rest. And thus it is that he has now given to us who know him and to the several generations of men with whom he, during the better part of a century, has come into contact, glimpses of that education, of the Hfe work built on it and of the man it made. And it is this personality, made up of strength, cautious daring, resource and judgment, but also of gentleness and honor, that his nearest friends, his brothers in profession, his aides, his workmen, and all the many who must remember him with gratitude as a helping friend in need, a soimd and sympathetic adviser, a chari¬ table judge, do, and always will, honor and admire.
It is to John Fritz, " The Man," that the technical world and his countrymen give homage in his old age when his life work is done, even more than to the great engineer who built the guns and armor which won the battle at Santiago.
This is the fact which I, by these lines, wish to point out and emphasize to those who will now read his own simply told story of his life work. And it is again this personality of John Fritz, seen between the Unes of his book, which will always give this autobiography a special value to the host of American engineers amongst whom he now stands honored and revered as the only surviving representative of that advance guard of engineers who, small in number,