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On March 4th, 1830, I arrived in London, where a new world seemed opened to me.
It is true I had been successful on a small scale in overcoming one of the main difficulties in the new process, but there was still much to invent, and much that at that period I necessarily knew nothing about.
In such a case secrecy must be absolute to be effective, and although mere vague curiosity induced many persons of my intimate acquaintance to ask to be allowed to just go in and have a peep, I never admitted anyone.
I was quite unable to make any white metal alloy hard enough to be made into powder by my machinery.
I had now arrived at my seventeenth year, and had attained my full height, a fraction over six feet. I was well endowed with youthful energy, and was of an extremely sanguine temperament.
I had an immense advantage over many others dealing with the problem inasmuch as I had no fixed ideas derived from long-established practice to control and bias my mind, and did not suffer from the general belief that whatever is, is right.
I fear this little episode does not speak very favourably for my business capacity in those early days, for I certainly ought to have made much more than I did by this really important invention.
At this period the enthusiasm of the amateur was fast giving way to a more steady commercial instinct, and I let no opportunity slip of improving my position, but I felt that I was still labouring under the disadvantage of not having acquired some technical profession.
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