6o AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
machinery is now coming and I'm anxious to have it put in place as soon as possible." How different was this meeting from our first meeting in Norristown several years previous, when we met as entire strangers, and I not even knowing what I would be caUed on to do or what I could do. Now we met as friends, vnth full confidence in each other personally, and he was satisfied that I was competent to do the work he had designated for me. At that time the duties of a person in charge of the erection of machinery about an iron works were very different from what they are to-day. It was expected that he should, in a general way, under¬ stand rolUng-mill practice. Most of the machinery, except the engines, was fitted up in the mill, and there were no planers or slotting macliines large and heavy enough to do the work on. The two-handed cliisel and sledge were sub¬ stitutes for them, and men that were skilled in their use could do a large amount of work in a day, so well that but Uttle work with the hand chisel and iile was required to make the parts fit for use. All of this work had to be looked after by the person in charge and it was essential that he should be a practical mechanic, and besides he had to do his own erecting. At that time the faciUties for hoisting and handUng heavy weights were about as in¬ adequate as the machines were for doing heavy work.
The plan of the mill being much the same as that at Norristown, I was quite at home in it. The gearing was weU fitted up and made heavy and strong, so as not to break, — but it did break, as will be mentioned later. I got my crew organized, mostly Pennsylvania Germans, fresh from the farm, without any knowledge of what they were going to do, but they were good and wilUng workers and apt, soon becoming expert in handUng the heavy parts of the machinery, and in doing the general work, such as is common in the erection of a new iron plant.