John Winthrop Hammond spent more than three years in collecting the historical material for this volume. In 1922, when he started this work, many of the pioneers of the electrical industry were still living, and he was able to get the story from their own lips. Hammond had the temperament of the true historian; he waded through records, he tracked traditional stories to their sources. And because he saw the epic of electricity in terms of men, the story he wrote was a human one. To him, this history was a labor of love.
John Hammond died in 1934. The three hundred thousand word manuscript which he had prepared was later edited and condensed to approximately its present dimensions by Arthur Pound, well-known writer on industrial subjects. With a few minor changes, it is here presented.
Because Hammond's manuscript closed with the year 1922, a brief Epilogue has been added, highlighting the major achievements of the succeeding years. In addition, there has been included as an Appendix the statement presented be fore the Temporary National Economic Committee by Owen D. Young, Honorary Chairman of the Board.