114 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
device, or breaking box, as it was generaUy called, should crush, one end of the roll would go up and it was more than Ukely that some of the coUars would be broken and the roll rendered useless. The loss by delay, caused by the break¬ age of the safety devices, was not only annoying, but was expensive. The train had to stop; all hands in that end of the mill were idle, heating furnaces damped up, coal and iron wasted in the furnaces. Add to this the loss in production and it became a matter of much importance, not only to the proprietors, but also to the workmen.
The train was now practically completed, with aU break¬ ing devices abandoned. The old miU was stopped on the evening of the 3rd of July, 1857, and after the 4th I com¬ menced to tear the old mill out, and get ready to put the new one in, and also to put the new engine in place at the same time. Everything in the rail department was remodeled and the floor line raised two feet. On the 29th of the same month everytliing was completed and the mill was ready to start. I need not teU you that it was an extremely anxious time for me, nor need I add that no engraved cards of invitation were sent out, that not being the custom in the early days of iron making; had it been, it would not have been observed on that occasion.
As the heaters to a man were opposed to the new kind of miU, we did not want them about at the start. We secured one, however, out of the lot, who was the most reasonable one amongst them, to heat the piles for us. We had kept the furnace smoking for several days as a bUnd. At last, everything being ready, we charged six piles. At about ten o'clock in the morning the first pile was drawn, and it went through the roUs without the least hitch of any kind, making a perfect rail. You can judge what my feeUngs were as I looked upon that perfect and first rail ever made on a three-high mill, and you may know in part