The novel begins during some sort of gathering of townspeople at the Time Traveler's home. From the description of the house, we gather that the story takes place in the mid to late 19th century England. The Time Traveler sparks a conversation about the existence of a Fourth Dimension - Time. Those in the room contest his 'discovery' by arguing that we cannot move freely throughout time; therefore it cannot be a dimension on the same level as length, breadth, and height. To validate his claim, the Time Traveler leaves the room and returns with a "glittering, metallic framework" resembling some sort of carriage. After explaining to the group that this model is a scale time machine he has built over the past two years, he uses the Psychologist to set the mechanism in motion. With the push of a small lever, the machine vanishes. As everyone stares in disbelief, the Time Traveler announces his plan to explore this new Fourth Dimension and unveils a full-size time machine, nearly completed.