78 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
have been $1500 a year, a big salary for that time. A- though I was getting only $1000 a year at Norristown, I decUned Mr. Reeves' offer.
He then told me that he had personaUy leased the old Kunzie Furnace on the Schuylkill River, about twelve miles from Philadelphia and asked me if I would be wilUng to go there and take charge of the rebuilding and changes which he proposed to make. I said I should be glad to do so, as I had been pretty well schooled in the rolUng mills and I was well satisfied that the mineral coal furnaces must soon come to the front, as timber was becoming too scarce and too valuable to be used any great length of time for char¬ coal furnaces; that I wanted very much to get a practical knowledge of the blast furnace, but that I had just arranged to go back to the Norristown Works with Mr. Hooven. Mr. Reeves said he thought that all could be arranged as he and Mr. Hooven were good friends and the rolling mill business was very dull at that time, — and I knew well that was so. Mr. Reeves now told me that at the Kunzie Furnace he could afford to give me but Uttle more than half the salary he could give me at Phoenixville. I asked him what he could give me. He said, eight hundred dollars per year. I told him if I could get away honorably from Mr. Hooven, I would accept the position.
When I returned to Norristown, i told Mr. Hooven frankly the talk Mr. Reeves and I had had and gave him my reasons for wanting to go. I told him that I had quite a fair knowledge of all branches of rolUng-mill practice up to that time and was very anxious to learn something of blast-furnace practice. After some days and several talks it was agreed that I should stay with him long enough to get the mill in good order, wliich would take some six or eight weeks. I so reported to Mr. Reeves, and he at once agreed; consequently all was satisfactory.