AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ 199
made at the Creusot Works in France, and they were tested by the Government at AnnapoUs.
This trial was the source of great anxiety. 'While I had entire confidence in soUd steel plate, yet if by any chance the compound plate should stand the test, and the soUd steel plate fail, from any cause which might have occurred in its manufacture, the money which we had spent would have been practicaUy lost, as our arrangements would have been of Uttle use in the manufacture of compound plates. On the day of the trial Lieutenant Jaques was sent to AnnapoUs to witness the test. Expecting to hear from him at about two or three o'clock, and not hearing from him, my anxiety increased. At six o'clock I went home from the works with a terrific headache. I got a cup of tea and a piece of toast, and lay down on the sofa, wondering what would be the consequences if the soUd steel plate failed. At about eight o'clock a telegram came. My wife received it and said, " Here is a telegram for you." I said, " Open it and read it." She opened it, but said she could not read it. I asked her for what reason, and she said she did not under¬ stand it. I said, " What does it say?" She repUed, " Compound something, knocked to snflthereens." I got up, but waited anxiously to hear how tiie soUd steel plate stood the test. The telegram said, " SoUd steel plate stood the test." hnagine my reUef 1!
During the course of the evening I reflected on the previous trial of the Creusot and compound plates made at Spezzia, Italy. In that test the compound plate failed. The solid steel plate cracked, but kept the shot out, and I concluded that it would be much better to have the plate crack and keep the shot out, than to let the shot go through the plate without cracking. Kjiowing, as I did, that it was an exceedingly difficult point to just reach the limit that the shot could be kept out, and prevent the cracking