92 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
null and foimd it imfinished and not at all to my Uking, but too far advanced to make any changes. Consequently, I concluded to complete it as designed and as early as possible, at the same time weU knowing there was trouble in store for us when we came to start. One of the blast furnaces had been in operation for some weeks and there was some pig iron in the metal yard, wMch I examined and found to be a very inferior metal. I was told by persons who knew sometliing about the reputation of the metal that it was no good, that it could not be sold or given away in Pittsburg, and that it could never be made into a rail. TMs, in con¬ nection with my ovra opimon, was enough to cMU the ardor of a veteran.
In starting the mill we made the pile in the usual way, and when it went into the roUs it spUt in two pieces and went out into the scrap yard. The conclusion was, too much heat. We tried another at a lower temperature; result, it spUt about halfway. We then turned end for end and passed it through the rolls, wMch closed it to¬ gether; sent it back to the furnace and reheated it, and then roUed it into a raff; the result was, flanges on both sides all torn from one end of the intended rail to the other. The roUs were then taken to the lathe and altered, put in place and tried again; result no better. Anticipating trouble, I had a set of new roUs qmte ready, put them in the housing, and tried them; some improvement, but the flanges of the rails were stiU seriously torn and the head of the rail badly cracked on both sides.
It was now evident that my worst fears were going to be fuUy reaUzed, and that we must have some better iron and devise some plan to get along with the least possible quan¬ tity. It was now that my Norristown experience proved helpful, as I had had much to do in getting up the piles for the various classes of work. TMs required different quaUties