To enable his daughter (Bessie Eyton) to receive an education, inventor Arthur Ensign (Edwin Wallock) and his wife (Lillian Hayward) live in poverty. But finally Ensign happens upon a formula which promises to make him wealthy -- an explosive that can be set off by ether waves (apparently an inspired concept in the less technically-advanced days of the 1910s). The government offers to buy the idea. But Ensign has a powerful nightmare in which he sees the thousands of human beings killed by his invention, including his daughter's soldier fiancé, and his own daughter, who dies from grief. When he wakes up he tears up his formula in front of the government agents and insists that he would rather remain poor than unleash such a weapon upon mankind. Judging from the sophisticated war technology that has developed since 1915, this thought never occurred to anyone in real life!
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