AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ 205
danger or difficulty might be. All that needed to be said was " Come, boys," but never " Go, boys," and if the difficul¬ ties were not insurmountable they were sure to be overcome; too much credit cannot be given to these fearless and ener¬ getic men for the marvelous progress that has been made in the manufacture of iron and steel in this country.
While we have properly received great credit for the unprecedented developments we have made in the iron and steel mdustry in the United States, we must not forget that it was the inventions of Cort, of Mushet, of Bessemer, of Siemens, and of Thomas that enabled us to accompUsh such important results; and to them aU civiUzed nations owe a debt of gratitude for the incomparable blessings their inventions have conferred on society.
Yet few of us even for a moment think of the trials, troubles, disappointments, mental anxiety, and bodfly toil these men had to undergo in the introduction and perfec¬ tion of their inventions, besides suffering the sneers and jibes of those who imagine that an inventor is notlflng but a wfld enthusiast, and treat him accordingly. The story of many inventors is truly pathetic, and none more so than that of the lamented Sidney Gflchrist Thomas. The per¬ sonal side of the story of the inventor of the basic process can only be appreciated by the reading of his Ufe. He died February i, 1885, at the early age of thirty-four years.
When I look back to my <early days in the iron business long, long ago, it brings to mind one of the happiest periods of my Ufe.
How Uttle do the younger men who now have charge of our great iron and steel industries know or even think of the severe mental strain, the great amount of bodily toil, the vexation, the surprises, and the disappointments that had to be endured by the men in charge during the erection and perfection of these vast estabUshments that are now