62 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
Well, the first part of the work I took hold of was the pipe that conveyed the gas from the top of the furnace to the hot-blast stove and boilers. The total length of the pipe was about seventy feet, the diameter sixty-six inches. It had three angles in it, and it was shipped in three pieces for convenience of carriage. After some trouble I got a mast long enough to hoist the pipe in place, but the pipe did not fit, the error in the angles being so great that it would not go in place. Mr. ColUns was at hand and, being of an impetuous disposition, he fairly exploded in the use of language that was both expressive and impressive. We next sent for Mr. Griffin. He looked it over and calmly said it was a bad job, and that it would have to be sent back to the shop. This would take several weeks and be an expensive job, as the pipe would have to be hauled some ten miles on a wagon to the railroad, that being the best route to take it for the quickest transportation. From the first, my mind was made up that the best and quickest way was to do the work right there, and after the excitement was somewhat allayed I so told them. They wanted to know who was there that could do it. I told them that I could do it. They said, " It requires a boiler maker, and you are not one." In reply I said, " I do not pretend to be a boiler maker, but having held the dolly for riveting up boilers, worked the punch lever for punching the plates, turned the rolls for bending them, chipped and calked the joints and seams, and done some boiler patcliing, and knocked the skin off my left hand during my apprentice¬ ship, I am quite sure that I can make a crecUtable job out of it." Besides I looked upon it as much more of an en¬ gineering problem than a mechanical one. Finally, Mr. Griffin said, " If you feel sure you can do it, go ahead." This I did and at once set to work to get the proper angles.
While I was at this part of the work, much the most