52 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
neutral iron, kept separate, and when the change was made from red-short iron to neutral, the cinder was correspond¬ ingly changed, and the trouble ended. This was an impor¬ tant lesson, and one that I will refer to later.
Being now practically in charge of the miU and being in touch with Mr. Hooven, I had the opportunity to talk \vith him in regard to a number of improvements which I had thought out while I was working at night at the puddling and heating furnaces. The one to which I had given the most thought, before alluded to, was the increase in the height of the roof over the puddUng furnace. I considered this to be of the utmost importance, and I wanted the roof raised some nine or ten inches. Mr. Hooven thought I was a Uttle wild and suggested the width of a nine-inch brick — that is, about four and a half inches. At the same time I thought it would be an advantage to have the furnace longer, but this was not possible except at a great expense, and the height of the roof could be raised only some four inches, except at a considerable expense, which the condition of the business at that time did not warrant. So the roofs were raised only about four inches. Later they were raised nine inches. This made quite an improvement in the working of the furnace and thoroughly satisfied me that the change was in the right direction. I shaU refer to this later on.
I was now completely installed in my new position, and found both Mr. Hooven and Mr. Moore very clever and companionable gentlemen. They soon seemed to place entire confidence in my abiUty to look after the miU, not only in a general way but in detail. This I did and it pleased them very much.
Notwithstanding I was now practically in charge of the mill, my hat still fitted me, and, as formeriy, I came to the mill every evening, not to work at the puddUng fumace, as