I70 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
placed a shaft in Une with the center of the roUers, and parallel with the table; on tliis shaft I put a wheel cast off the same pattern as on the rollers to gear into each wheel on the roUers in the table, the shaft transnfltting the power separately to each roller in the table, instead of driving aU the rollers through a system of idlers from one driven spur wheel on the first roller in the table, thus avoiding the tre¬ mendous strain on the first gear, the great amount of friction, the great expense in repairs, the loss of time while repairs were being made, and a great waste of power.
The power used for driving the rollers in the table was taken from the same engine that drove the train. It was transmitted to the rollers by a belt on the flywheel shaft, wMcli drove a horizontal shaft that conveyed the power to a set of friction clutches properly secured to the roll housing, which, in turn, comiected with a square vertical shaft on wlflch was placed a bevel cog-gear wheel, loose, which geared into a wheel on the shaft of one of the end rollers on the table, it becoming the driver, through the idlers, of all the roUers in the table. The reversing of rollers in the tables was done by friction clutches, which were always a source of trouble. The raising and lowering of the tables at that time was a most cUfficult problem to solve. They had to be moved up and down a cUstance equal to the diameter of the working rolls, at that time about thirty-two inches, and they had to run at any point witiifli this dis¬ tance, both back and forth. It was tlus wliich caused so much trouble and expense. It was not possible to do this with macliinery for driving a positive fixture, and it must in some way have a yielding point automatically adjusted.
The first and most important thing was to get rid of the idlers, and by the use of the parallel shaft and miter gear we most effectively obviated them. The next thing to do was to get rid of the friction clutches, which were a great