,f/TOBIOGRAPllY OF JOHN FRITZ 182 ^
ff^ni him, as he said that what Uttle he had information ^.^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^.^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^ j^^ ^^^^
-rv!-^ , . ^ tbe true condition of affairs, as they existed
w, I concluded to try to get the directors to m the counti-y' ^ . , . . .
, . , r Q plant, using the foregoing m argument to
^1- ^ rfood forge plant was a necessity, was practi- prove that a & , , °^ ^ . ^ , . ' ^ ^
hi H deS^^^^^^* ^^ ^ ^^^ ^ thought 1 was at last
• ' 4. u successful, as the General Manager seemed to gomg to be 51^ ' , ^ , , . .
favor the nroj^*^^' °^^ ^^^ ^* ^^^^ ^^^ changed his views,
givmg as a re^^^^ ^^^''^ ^^^ President was opposed to going
into anytlfln^ ^^^- ^^^ President was a nice old gentleman
and I Uked hi^ "^"^"' ^^^h; he was a man of commanding
'ent, and could gain access to a busy
others less favored by nature and
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
appearance, vv^^j raflroad presid^- culture h? the com; looking
¦\^aged the business affairs of ted most admirably, but in lear day for him to discern e Ukely to make a change onsequently I was doomed : hour for me. . hopeless, and had it been ; whole matter. But the 1 that it was apparent to I armor-plate plant was ; i- anind from the be- f 1 a most defense-
modern guns for rcy of the world, Q to be in. But en turned down, iii^rrection. Hav- \t forging plant [any objection, lagement from
a patriotic standpoint, but that did not seem to take, as some of the directors belonged to a sect that was opposed to fighting in any way or manner. But I thought, from what some of the directors had previously said and what others did not say, that a strong presentation of the case might set them to thinking.
Armor plate was one of the things the Government must have, and as iron was useless in front of modern steel shot and sheUs, steel must be the material that would be sub¬ stituted for it. We knew that for steel where close grain and hard surface were desired, as is required for armor plates, the hammer was superior to rolls or press. The face of the armor should be close-grained and harder than the back, and as the hammer side of a plate is closer in grain than the anvil side, a plate made under a hammer would be harder on one side than a plate made in the roUs or press. Therefore, the hammer was then superior to the roUs or press for armor plates. (This was before the inven¬ tion and introduction of the Harvey process.) This fact was somewhat encouraging, as there were no patents to interfere and we could build the hammer ourselves. I now brought the forge and armor plant to the front again, but was met by the old ghost of failure, sheriff, or assignee, or the argument " better let well enough alone," which is death to aU progress. But some of the directors were not quite so outspoken against the scheme as formerly.
About this time my friend, Mr. Charles Brodhead, told me about WilUam H. Jaques, a bright young Lieutenant in the Navy, who was Secretary of the Gun Foundry Board, during its visit to Europe for the purpose of seeing the best plants for the manufacture of ordnance, and such other ma¬ terial as was necessary for the complete equipment of the United States Navy. Among the many plants they visited was Sir Joseph Whitworth's, where they were cordially