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WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER, LL.D.
Pelatiah Perit Professor of Political and Social Science
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED
for his guiding instruction and the encouragement received from his friendship and sterling character link the volume with the honored name of one of the greatest lights of our generation
In addition to individual acknowledgments made throughout the volume, I wish to express my gratitude to those who have aided in the work by many kindnesses in the way of advice and suggestion, and by the furnishing of various data. My acknowledgments are due primarily and chiefly to Professor W. G. Sumner and Dr. J. Pease Norton—to the former for that general aid and counsel that can be offered only after wide historical research, and for reading and criticising a large portion of the work; to the latter for his indefatigable kindness in giving continuous aid in obtaining material, and in giving help of a technical nature. Much assistance and encouragement was given by Mr. M. A. Carleton, Cerealist of the United States Department of Agriculture; by Mr. Wm. Saunders, Director of the Central Experimental Farm, Canada; and by Mr. W. M. Hays, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture of the United States. One of the most important of the several institutions which are now expending considerable financial resources in economic and industrial research is the Carnegie Institution of Washington, from which financial aid has been received in some of the investigations necessitated by the preparation of this volume. Through the kind offices of Mr. P. B. Smith, President of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, material encouragement has also been received from the St. Anthony and Dakota Elevator Company and from the Washburn-Crosby Company.
For carefully reading over the typewritten manuscript of the book and suggesting many improvements in diction and phraseology, I am indebted to my former pupil, Miss Elizabeth Hodgson. She is not to be held responsible, however, for any imperfections in language that may yet remain, inasmuch as I made all final corrections and changes.—[The Author.
The great industries which have been essential to the rise of state or nation have never received the attention which their importance should command, and the chronicling of their events greatly extends the meaning of economics and history proper. Industrial history has indeed received a certain amount of consideration, but in the main it has been somewhat desultory, and the field is so new that only a few of the great basic industries, such as those of cotton, corn, alfalfa and coal, have even been attempted. It is my purpose in this book to add another volume to the industrial-economic literature which deals with industries in their entirety. While many important works are available that cover certain phases of the wheat industry very adequately, and a few which cover a number of phases very admirably for the limited space that is devoted to them, there is, however, no general work treating the entire subject as completely and extensively as is merited by the industry which furnishes the most staple food of the civilized world. Unquestionably the need of such a book on wheat is patent.
A work of this nature is of direct or indirect interest to all consumers of bread. The historical or evolutionary aspect is of universal significance. Those directly interested in the wheat industry, whether as growers, dealers, or millers, not only should be familiar with the technicalities of the phase of the industry in which they are engaged, but they should have accessible a general knowledge of the whole industry. No agricultural college or experiment station should be without a text-book on the subject. The agricultural or economic section of every library should certainly contain a general reference book on wheat. The method of treating the subject demanded by these needs was one that would appeal to the popular reader as well as to the student, instructor and experimenter. Treated from the American point of view, the subject demanded a less detailed consideration for foreign countries.
The book is the result of fifteen years of personal experience in the wheat fields of our Northwest, and of a careful study of the works listed in the appended bibliography. Not a little additional information was obtained from several hundred letters written on phases of the subject with which I was not sufficiently familiar, and concerning which little material that was recent or reliable could be found in the literature. Space limited the references in footnotes to the most important ones. If more detailed information is desired on certain subjects than the limits of the book have permitted, references quite ample for all purposes will be found in the topical index of authors included in the bibliography. P. T. D.
New Haven, Conn., May 1, 1908.