James King, the once poor owner of a hat factory, is married to a shiftless, unpleasant woman, whom he detests. One of his factory foremen, Hammond, is hated by the employees because of his cruelty, while another foreman, Morden, is universally liked. Morden adopts a protégé, David Strong, and takes Esther, his brother's daughter, into his household upon her father's death. She adapts well to her reduced circumstances and to factory labor. The moment King spots her in the factory, he falls in love with her, but Hammond has designs on her himself and intercepts a letter she has written to King describing labor problems. Hammond plans to set fire to the factory, but Esther learns of the plan and warns King. Alerted, King saves the factory, overcomes Hammond, and reinstates the employees whom Hammond fired. Freed by the timely death of his wife, he then announces that Esther will become his bride.