48 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
possible to secure the knowledge I had fully made up my mind to obtain. While the work was much less laborious than that which I had performed in the puddUng depart¬ ment, there were many problems met that were difficult to solve and at the commencement gave me much anxiety, owing to the secretiveness of the workmen, especially of the roUers and roU turners, who kept their templets in their pockets. At that time the practical men in the mill, especially the rollers and roll turners, were generaUy EngUsh or Welsh, and they were very jealous of any person whom they suspected of ha\ang any desire to learn their secrets. This made it exceedingly difficult to get any information direct from them. The experience I had gained in using tongs in the smith shop now became useful, and the rollers were much surprised at my skill in handling them. Con¬ sequently, I soon learned to roll on the puddle rolls, and on the roughing or breaking-down rolls, as they are frequently caUed. Both being hard work, the roUers did not object to my taking the tongs and giving them a rest for a speU. This gave me an opportunity to get quite a good knowledge of the proper shape and of the amount of work that was being done. At the same time I became better acquainted with the men and had in no small degree gained their confidence, which is a great step forward in the management of men. Much to my surprise, this soon proved to be a great advantage to them.