174 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
shop of the kind there was in the country. I urged the com¬ pany with aU the eloquent language I could command, but with no efi'ect. Then I tried compulsion, by saying it was absolutely essential for the permanent success of the company to have some diversity in their business. This raised a question, and I was asked if I knew how many tons of structural material was made in a year in the country. I told them I did not know, and cUd not care, but there was one tlflng I did know, — that there was not a proper section of beams or channels in the country, or a proper mill to roU them, that the use of structural material for building pur¬ poses was in its infancy, and that steel was the material that was going to be used for the purpose, in the near future.
When the steel plant was buflt I arranged for a mfll that small sizes of beams and channels could be rolled on, and also put up a mill that larger ingots could be roUed on, so as to make the proper shapes to roll the larger sections of beams and channels out of, knowing that in France they were rolUng beams of great width with thin and wide flanges. This fact greatly increased my desire to go into the business, as wide sections with wide flanges were what were wanted in the engineering line. But it was no use, and some of the directors said I was never satisfied, but must be at some¬ thing new, and could not let wefl enough alone. So for the time I let the subject drop.
Some years later, when the Gray and York system of roU¬ ing wide sections with wide, thin, and paraUel flanges first came up, I at once investigated the principle, and to my mind it appeared a much more complete system than the French, and I once more ventured to caU the attention of our people to the plan. The mention of it, however, met opposition, and I thought it best not to pursue the subject further.
Some years later, one of the directors (a railroad man) came to me, saying, " You iron men are the most incon-