I86 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
was premature, and they looked upon it as a vague experi¬ ment, that would surely end in trouble. But, as at Cam¬ bria, my mind was made up that something had to be done or trouble would surely come, so I urged the company to let me go over to Whitworth's to see for myself and meet Jaques there. This finally they did, but very reluctantly.
As soon as I had their consent to let me go, I got things about the works in the best shape that was possible, so that I could remain from home for a month or so. In this con¬ nection, the General Manager one day placed his hand on my shoulder and said, " John, you have done more than any other man to draw us into this wild scheme, and I am going to hold you responsible for the result." I was not discouraged by this, and I told the General Manager that I would assume the responsibility, and that I had much more at stake than he had. I said I well knew that it was a great undertaking, and, indeed, compared with the then existing plants in the country, what I wanted was truly gigantic.
On the second, third, and fourth days out, if I could have been landed on the American side of the Atlantic, it is quite Ukely I would have done so, but on the fifth day I had gotten into a better frame of mind and stomach, and by the time I arrived in Liverpool I was as full of enthusiasm as ever on the subject of my mission.
On my return I reported to the directors. As I had had several disappointing failures to get the company to look forward to a change in their business, and weU knew that they must, in some measure at least, make a change, and as Lieutenant Jaques had secured the right for the use of the Whitworth patents for hydrauUc forgings, and as I had talked the subject over with the directors at various times without any success and but Uttle encouragement, I now told them most emphatically that something must be done