184 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
received, and were most favorably impressed with the plant and what they saw. Up to the time of their visit no strangers had been pernfltted inside of the Wlfltworth shops, but the Board were not only admitted into the shops but were shown everytlflng they wished to see. Lieutenant Jaques got a contract from Sir Joseph Whitworth, giving liim personally authority to build a plant in the United States, the Wlfltworth Works to furnish plans for the plant and build the forging presses, a fluid-compression press, the macliine tools, and all the necessities for the equipment of a complete forging plant. To Lieutenant Jaques is due the main credit for our subsequent acquisition of the Whitworth system of forging.
Some time after the Board returned home. Lieutenant Jaques came to Betlflehem to talk over the subject of building a forge plant at Bethlehem, under his contract with Sir Joseph Wlfltworth. This was just what I wanted and what the country in some way must have. I weU knew it would be the fight of my Ufe to carry it through, as it was a forlorn hope, but I made up my mind to enter the arena with sleeves roUed up to do or die, as something must be done. I could plainly see the end of the acid Bessemer everywhere, and especially with us, as the company had let every ore property that was available and suitable for the Bessemer process pass beyond their control, and the end was in sight.
When Mr. Jaques was in Bethlehem he was introduced to Mr. Alfred Hunt, who was at that time President of the Bethlehem Iron Company. Mr. Hunt was very much of a gentleman and knew how to meet any person from a king to a beggar. Of course, he treated Mr. Jaques politely, but said little that was in any way encouraging; he finaUy said the subject was " significant," and that he would bring it before the directors but without recommendation.