AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ 145
I took up the work at once and made plans for the mill and arrangements for securing the necessary machinery and suppUes.
In connection with procuring the machinery, I was obUged to secure an engine for driving the rolling mill. I went to see Mr. George H. CorUss, of Providence, R. I., the maniffacturer of the CorUss engine, at that time very famous. I explained to liim just what I wanted for the rolling mfll at Chattanooga, and asked him if he could supply such an engine. He told me that he Avas then buflding in the shops, and had nearly completed, an engine just such as I wanted, under a contract made previously, but that the man who had ordered the engme was in no hurry for it on account of the unsettled condition of the country. I was gi'eatly pleased to find an engine just such as I wanted, as it was then very difficult to obtain finished macliinery, and on account of the nature of the work it was essential for us to begin on the construction of the rail plant at Chat¬ tanooga as soon as possible. I said to Mr. Corliss, " This engine of yours just about meets my needs. What is the price of it? " He caUed his secretary, who brought in the original contract for the engine. At that time material was selling for at least double what it had sold for at the time when this contract was made. I said to Mr. CorUss, " I should Uke to make as good a bargain as possible for the Government, but I want to be fair with you in this matter." Whereupon Mr. CorUss repUed, " You can have this engine at the original contract price, although it is worth more to-day. No good citizen can afford to take advantage of the Government in its hour of peril." In tlus remark he showed a pubUc spirit and patriotism which marked aU his actions.
It was impossible for me to personally superintend the erection of this plant, and also unnecessary. I saw that