AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ 237
rails, or the first plants to make Bessemer steel, in this country. Presidents of coUeges and professors of engineer¬ ing in technical institutions were there, and, as well, pro¬ prietors and editors of journals devoted to science and art. Ministers of various creeds vied with each other to do honor to the engineer, while lawyers and laymen talked of what he had done. In the midst of aU stood the man they had come to honor, grasping as best he could the hands that were stretched out from all sides, and answering as oppor¬ tunity would allow the hearty greetings and congratulations that were showered upon lum by everyone. Soon the open¬ ing doors of the Opera House revealed a scene of beauty none who were there that night wiU soon forget, as, keeping step td music whose strains were not unUke an " Anvil Chorus," they marched in to take their appointed places at one of the many weU-decorated tables that greeted their vision. Standing with bowed heads, they Ustened to the invocation of a blessing upon the occasion, and all that it meant, and upon aU that participated therein.
The banquet, served by the Hotel Wyandotte, and under the special supervision of the steward of the Reading Raflway Company, who, with his assistants, came up from Plifladelphia for the occasion, left nothing to be wished for. MingUng with the meUow strains of music that floated in the air were the tales of the guest told to the neighbor by his side or across the table; many a merry jest was tossed to and fro as friends were recognized up or down the tables, who, perhaps, had not met before for years; and so, amid a babel of sounds mingled with bursts of uncontrollable laughter, the hours sped on, untfl with the arrival of coffee and cigars came the reminder that the feast of edibles was over, and, if there was to be a flow of soul, the hour had come.
In view of the fact that the idea of the dinner had origi¬ nated at the Engineers' Club of New York, and that many of