236 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
At the rear of the stage an arch of immorteUes inter¬ twined with white rosettes of flowers and glowing electric lamps hung above the inscription "Anniversary to John Fritz," wlflle along the long lines of tables huge banks of flowers lent perfume to the air and brightness to the scene.
At the center of the head cross table and immediately in front of the honored guest of the evening stood a huge columbiad mounted on wheels, the whole composed of beautiful flowers and loaded to the muzzle with good things and trained towards the assembled guests, as emblematic of the kind of guns and projectiles " Uncle John " would always be glad to fire off against friend or foe. Special cars kindly tendered by officers of the Reading Railway System for the occasion brought the invited guests from New York and Phfladelphia, and, as both trains roUed up to the station, carriages in waiting distributed them among the various hotels and the numerous private residences that so generously had opened their doors to receive them.
By 7 p. M. the parlors and haUs of the Hotel Wyandotte, and the vestibule of the Opera House, which had been speciaUy connected for the occasion, were fiUed with as notable an assembly of men of affairs as it is possible to conceive. Here were men long known as the foremost iron and steel masters of the country. Mine owners stood sand¬ wiched in between managers of blast furnaces and super¬ intendents of steel plants, while engineers, famous for what they had accompUshed at home and abroad, stood side by side with capitaUsts and bankers whose invested means had made possible the buflding of the famous industrial works that are dotted all over our country, and which serve to make the United States the foremost nation of the world in industrial pursuits. Here and there, meeting, perhaps, for the first time after a lapse of years, were men identified with the builduig and operating of the first miUs to roll