AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ 141
such equipment as was necessary for handUng the iron economicaUy. Both the finishing and the puddle roUs were twenty-one inches in diameter. All furnaces, both heating and puddUng, had boilers over them.
During the summer and fall of 1862 the miU was quite completed, and in September, 1863, we commenced rolUng rails. Every department worked entirely satisfactorily. The roll housings were of new design and were dressed out inside with hammer, cliisel, and file; the fittings inside were fitted up in the same maimer. The furnace plates, being corrugated, were strong and handsome; the building was of stone (good masonry); the train was of the largest diam¬ eter used in any rail mill in the country; and altogether the plant was completely fitted up. In addition to the rolling mill, we had erected a large macliine shop and foundry, a blacksmith shop, and a pattern shop, aU built of stone in fijst-class manner. Altogether, they made a fine show, and were for some years a Mecca for the iron men to visit. There was nothing in the world in the way of an iron plant that could be compared with the Bethlehem Works.
In the meantime, we had built the second furnace, which was a curiosity in its way. The first furnace, or Number One, was built of plate iron one-fourth of an inch in thick¬ ness. It was the first sheU furnace, as they were called at that time, built in the Leliigh VaUey. Iron was first made in tliis furnace on January 4, 1863. The second furnace, or Number Two, was also built of iron, but instead of being a boiler-plate shell it was constructed with bands of wrought iron eight inches in width, about seven-eighths of an inch tliick at the bottom of the furnace and five-eighths of an inch thick at the top. These bands, or circular rings, were riveted about twenty-four inches apart to uprights, eight by half-inch, placed about thirty inches apart from center to center. As the distance from center to center of the