AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ 179
from what I considered, at that time, the best forge plant in the country.
Having had some previous experience, in a small way, with both metals, with results not altogether lovely, I thought it prudent to see in what condition the metal was in the center. In order to show tins, a hole about four inches in diameter was bored through the center of them all, seven in number, five iron and two steel, and aU were found to be unsound in the center. In the iron the imperfections ran longitudinally and the four-inch hole practically cleaned them out. The steel shaft, which was about fourteen inches in diameter and some twelve feet long, proved so unsound in the four-inch hole, as there were unperfections in the fomi of large cracks or circumferential openings, that the hole was enlarged to about six and one-half inches. Some of the imperfections were still visible. The position of the shaft was such, when m use, that, should it give way, it would not be likely to do any serious damage, so we con¬ cluded to use it. When the hole was bored through the steel crank pin, the imperfections showed so badly that we placed it on the planer and cut it in half lengthwise. It was full of circumferential cracks, some of them extending almost to the edge. It was frightful to a person who was contemplating the building of a forge plant, for the purpose of making steel forgings, as I was at that time. The result was not entirely unexpected, as my experience in making steel and in heating, rolling, and forging had already con¬ vinced me that it would require great skill and still greater care to prevent internal imperfections in the steel forgings, yet I was not prepared to witness anytlung approaching the condition wliich the spUtting of tins forging revealed. This was a revelation to the engineers that saw it, and at the same time it furnished an argument in favor of a large forging plant that could not be gainsaid.