134 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
difficulties wliich had been encountered and in the face of dire predictions of the soothsayers, and others who were equaUy ignorant, but should have been better informed, and of the condition that the plant was in at that time, I congratulated myself in having accompUshed a great work, under the most difficult conditions, in building for the Cambria Iron Company a rail mill far in advance of any miU existing at the time, and a great commercial success. As Frank Jones once said to me: " Cambria was the cradle in which the great improvements in rolUng-mill practice were rocked," which revolutionized the rail miUs, making a better rail, doing away with aU patcliing, and increasing the production fourfold; and out of the two smaU driven roUers came the present system of handling the work in nulls, by the use of live roUers, by the heavier, stronger, and better fitting up of the miU without breaking points, Dy the improvement in the arrangement and better fitting up of the side guards, by the closing of the grooves in the roughing miUs, by the increase in the width of the pile, by the increased length of the furnace, and by the increased height of the furnace roof, which carried the heat much farther, thereby enabling us to charge eight nine-inch piles instead of six five- and six-inch piles. AU of these improve¬ ments were calculated to iniprove the quaUty of the work, and increased the production, both important factors.
The improvements that were made in those trying and active years were not confined to rails alone, but aU branches of the iron trade came in for a fuU share of the benefits of aU the changes that had taken place, and they were many; many of them were revolutionary in their character, and were always met with opposition to their mtroduction, some of them being fiercely opposed. But I had laid down an absolute rule not to even suggest anything new or untried until I had satisfied myself that it was aU right