AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ 2$
to the mUls, and when I could possibly spare the time I would spend it in the manufacturing department. It conmienced at what was at that time caUed the picker, or beater, which prepared the cotton for the carding machine, which properly arranged the fibers of the cotton. The throstle and mule did the spinning and put the yarn in shape for the loom. All of the machinery interested me greatly, but the shuttle flying or shooting from side to side was a mystery that I was imable to solve. But of aU the machines in the factory, the mule was to me the most interesting and instructive. But why it was called a mule I,was at a loss to know. But however degrading its name may have been, it was the one machine that com¬ pletely captivated me. To see a machine some thirty feet or more in length, with its many spmdles, spinning yarn, with one-half of the machine fixed and the other part moving back and forth through a space of some eight feet or more, spinning the thread as it ran out, and winding it on spools or bobbins on its return, making it ready for the loom, was to me most marvelous. Being young, with mind free, clear, and active, and not yet crowded, the impression was the more lasting, and although eighty years have passed over my head since I first witnessed that almost bewUdering sight, and I have changed from a tow-headed boy to an old gray-headed man, with a mind filled with events that have taken place during my long, eventful, and active Hfe, the feeling of astonishment, and I may say of fear, that I experienced when the door was opened and I was, for the first time, ushered into the noisiest place I had ever been in, is almost as clear in my memory as it was on that first day. The machine, or mule as it was caUed, was placed at the end of the buUding, and so close to the waU that when the traveling part of the machine was out the space was so narrow that it looked dangerous. When I first entered.