38 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
at that time as the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, now a part of the great Pennsylvania system. The shops for the repair of the motive power were located there, consequently I soon became interested in the locomotive. The Supermtendent of the shop, William Hardman, who was an EngUshman and boarded with my master, was quite a talker, and at that time I was a good listener, and showed him some attention, while the other boys would at times be rude to him. The consequence was that he and I became very friendly and he would tell me anything I asked of him. This was before the link motion was in use, and with some of the engines, especiaUy the Baldwin, which used but one eccentric for both forward and back motion, skill was required to get the valves so set as to exhaust evenly, in both motions. The Superintendent, when he could do so, would arrange the time for setting the valves so that I could be with him, until I fully understood the principle and was capable of doing the work myself. We became fast friends, and the knowledge I obtained from him was of great value to me in after Ufe, and he ever has had a warm place in my memory. He went South to take charge of the motive power on a road, as I remember, in Georgia, and wanted me to go with him as Assistant Superintendent. I was very anxious to do this, but my mother did not want me to go so far from home, as it seemed to be at that time; consequently I somewhat reluctantly abandoned the idea of adopting railroading as a calUng.
There being several wheelwright shops in the neighbor¬ hood, I was induced to start a smith shop to do their work, but this business, after I had my mind set on railroading, did not prove congenial, as there was but Uttle or no out¬ come in it. The Uttie knowledge I had gained of mechanics only made me eager for more, so I made up my mind to take up the iron business as a caUing. But here a more