so AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
the iron business; this I had fuUy determined to practically work out in each and every branch. My mind had become, if possible, more fuUy imbued with the importance of the iron busuiess, and I beUeved that it was sure to become the leading branch of American industry.
After taking charge as Night Superintendent, I soon found that the practical knowledge I had gained by working at nights at the puddling furnace, and the attention and thought I had given the heating and rolUng departments, had fairly well quaUfied me for the position I was placed in. After some five or six months of hard and vexatious work I was placed on the day turn, in order to reUeve Mr. Hooven, the acting partner, of much of the active work. By this change, Mr. Hooven and I could consult together on every problem that might arise. Such problems were at that time of almost daily occurrence, it being previous to the appUcation of that beautiful and wonderful science of chemistry to the metaUurgical arts, especially in the iron and steel industries.
I wiU aUude to only one of the problems, and that one simply to give an idea of the difficulties that we encountered, and the roundabout way we had to resort to in order to find out what the trouble was, and how to avoid it. To-day we simply take a piece of iron or steel to the laboratory and say to the chemist, " This piece of metal is cold-short or red-short, and I want you to teU me what causes it to be so." In a short time and, comparatively speaking, at a trivial expense, we get the desired information, which enables us at once to remedy the evil, whatever it may be. In making bar iron, flats and squares, the iron has to be made neutral — that is, neither cold- nor red-short. Con¬ sequently, neutral iron is much more troublesome and ex¬ pensive to make than either cold- or red-short. This was prior to the introduction of what is known as the boUing