Author William Wister Haines, born in Des Moines, IA in 1908, was earning a degree in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania when money ran out due to the Great Depression. He was nineteen at the time and found night work as an electric lineman, alternating his time between work and school until he received his degree in 1931. He continued to support himself as a linemen for a time and his cumulative seven years of experiences in the field served as a basis for his first two books, Slim (1937) and High Tension (1938) as well as some of his short stories. Slim became a movie, produced by Warner Brothers in 1937, staring Henry Fonda as title character. Throughout his life, Haines remained incredibly proud of his years as a lineman and greatly admired those in the profession.