200 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
of the plate, I was satisfied hi my own mind that such a result could be reached, and it was reached.
Later Mr.- Harvey taught us aU how to make the ideal armor plate with a hard face and strong back. This was a boon to the armor-plate manufactures, for which he should have received a Knighthood, but instead he was hounded by the manufacturers, by their refusal to pay him any royalty, resulting in a law suit which worried Mr. Harvey until his death. They fought his patent on the narrow principle that case-hardening was not new, and they were not generous enough to admit that a carbonized steel armor plate weighing fifty tons or upwards was a new article of commerce, but compared the carbonizing of a steel armor plate to the case-hardening of a Uttle spring for a gunlock made out of iron, surrounded by some carbona¬ ceous material, such as the soft parings of horses' feet, leather of old shoes, or certain kinds of old hats, wrapped up in a baU of clay not much larger than a wasps' nest, presumably heated in a smith's fire, and let cool. This is what I did when a boy, many times. Yet this argu¬ ment was brought up to prove that his patent was invaUd.
Up to the time the Bethlehem Iron Company commenced making gun forgings the gun hoops were made in short lengths. On the occasion of a visit to Bethlehem of Com¬ mander Folger, then Chief of Ordnance of the United States Navy, we discussed the merits of longer gun forgings, and we agreed that an improvement coifld be made over the guns that had been manufactured up to that time, if longer forgings were used. The Bethlehem plant was equipped for such forgings. The proposed change was made, and now guns are aU made with much longer hoops, with a much better gun as a result.
In 1897, by act of Congress, a Board known as the Armor Factory Board was appointed for the purpose of investigat-