122 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
bar iron that was used about the works. We also built two heating furnaces for this mill. From the first, the plant was short of steam. The boilers were plain cyUnder, under- fired, but as fast as the puddling and heatmg furnaces were changed and new ones built, boilers were put over them. At length we had aU the steam that was wanted. The puddling furnaces, Burden squeezer, and puddle roUs, the top and bottom furnaces, and roUs were aU working well, also the heating furnaces for the rail mill, and the new three- high rail mill worked most magnificently. All tliis made a better and more perfect rail and made cold-patching a thing of the past. We put in new hot beds and curving plates, subsrituted the straightening machine for the sixty-pound old-time sledge, greatly improved the puncliing machines, and by the introduction of the driven roUers on the roUs the mill could turn out four times as much work as could possibly have been done on the old mill and with less than half the labor and no wear and tear of muscle.
Having gotten all the furnaces of both kinds and all the roUs and machinery in the miU in good shape, we next took hold of the handling of the puddled and top and bottom iron to see what improvements could be made in that Une. Up to that time the puddled and top and bottom iron, especially the puddled bar, had been dragged from the rolls, out on the bank, as it was caUed, and when cold taken to the cold shears, cut to length, and taken on a wheelbarrow to the heating furnaces and there piled. This made it impossible to keep the space about the furnaces clean and tidy, and the place was at aU times cluttered up with puddled and top and bottom iron of various lengths which could not be used in the pile. To remedy this, we placed a pair of shears in front of each set of rolls, both puddled and top and bottom, and in an iron frame of proper length we placed rollers opposite to each shear. As the iron came from the rolls it