164 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
At this time Mr. Algernon Roberts, of the firm of A. & P. Roberts, was making car axles at the Pencoyd Iron Works. He told me the trouble the firm had had in reduc¬ ing the axles in the middle uniformly, and asked if I could help him out of his trouble. Previous to tliis Sir Joseph Whitworth had invented a hydrauUc press for forging. 1 had made up my mind it was a good scheme and was what Mr. Roberts wanted, but Mr. Whitworth would neither make one nor let anyone see it. I also understood that Haswell in Vienna was using some kind of a press for making heavy drop forgings, using a press instead of a hammer, and I suggested it would be well to see what Mr. Haswell was doing. Mr. Roberts was so much interested in the press that he and Mr. James Dougherty went over to see it. On his return he came to see me, and said he did not think Haswell's press was what he wanted. I asked him if he could get the drawings of what Mr. Haswell was doing. He said he thought he could, and would arrange to do so, and said that if we got the drawings we could use them for the purpose he wanted them for. Unfortunately, shortly after our conversation, Mr. Roberts died quite suddenly, and for a time the subject was dropped, but not forgotten.
The condition of affairs in the Bessemer plant was most deplorable, but there was one more chance to get quite a large quantity of Bessemer acid ore. By ceasing to make rails and by being able to get high-grade ores in sufficient quantities to supply the demand we had for high-quality steel, we could do a profitable business in that Une, and a satisfactory one. At that time we were using a small quantity of an ore known as the TiUy Foster ore, but the mine was in such bad condition that only a smaU quantity could be mined, and it would cost much money to put it in such shape that a large amount of ore could be gotten out. The ore was of such a character that I was quite sure it was