This eyewitness account was uncovered by George Southworth, Director of Advertising, Master Builders Company, Cleveland, Ohio. It originally appeared in American Cements published by Rogers and Manson, Boston, Massachusetts, 1898. During the past summer the stone piers for a railroad bridge over a small river near the home of the author were under construction. The specifications governing the quality of the mortar called for a mixture of one part first quality of natural hydraulic cement, and two parts of clean, coarse, sharp sand. The quality of the materials furnished was excellent, a good quality of Rosendale cement being used, and the sand, though of a dark-reddish cast, was all that could reasonably be desired. A batch of the mortar consisted of one barrel of cement and two barrels of sand. An empty barrel minus both heads was used for measuring the sand. This was placed upright in the mortar box by one man, while two others with shovels commenced to toss sand from a pile about ten feet away and soon the barrel was filled. In the meantime the man who handled the headless barrel was wringing and twisting in a desperate effort to empty the barrel and set it again, during which time there was no let up by the sand tossers. The barrel handler had learned from experience that he had no time to waste in mediation, and he clasped his arms around the barrel and swayed it from side to side, and back and forth, working with all his might to free the barrel and get clear of the mortar box. With a barrel of cement between them, they cast it upon the pile of sand in the mortar box. Now came the mixing. No hoes were used and the mixing lasted all of 45 seconds. The color of the sand and cement being so nearly alike, it was easy to imagine, by those who wished so to do, that the materials were fairly well mixed; while the facts are that about one-half of the sand which was used in the mortar was innocent of any cement coating. Later in the season the author noted the pointing of the finished piers with Portland cement, and thus was hidden from sight another instance of the almost criminal folly of giving out such work by contract to the lowest bidder.