At the direction of Alfred Krupp, the words “Fritz Let Fly” were inscribed on a 50-ton steam hammer in Essen, Germany, to commemorate the auspicious visit by Emperor William (Wilhelm) in 1877.
As re-told seven years later in THE RECORD, No. 178, Valparaiso, Sept. 12, 1884, Volume 13, “When in 1877 the Emperor William visited the works at Essen, this steam-hammer attracted his attention. Alfred Krupp … presented to the Emperor the machinist Fritz, who he said handled the hammer with such nicety and precision as not to injure or even touch an object placed on the center of the block. The Emperor at once put his diamond studded watch on the spot indicated, and beckoned to the machinist to set the hammer in motion. Master Fritz hesitated out of consideration for the precious object; but Mr. Krupp urged him on by saying ‘Fritz let fly!’ Down came the hammer, and the watch remained untouched. The Emperor gave it to the machinist as a souvenir. Mr. Krupp added one thousand marks to the handsome present and caused the above words to be inscribed on the hammer.”