Mrs. B. Earlene Ritzman, outgoing owner of Stemgas Publishing Co., and Gerald S. Lestz, new editor and publisher, look over one of the models in the collection of the late Rev. Elmer Ritzman, founder of the company.
Elmer started Iron-Men as the Farm Album in 1946 and it just grew and grew. People like the way it talks their language about steam engines and a multitude of other subjects.
In 1966 Elmer founded Gas Engine magazine and continued operating both magazines until his death in 1971. Mrs. Ritzman served as editor until this spring but found it difficult to combine operation of the business with her fulltime position as a teacher.
The new editor is a newspaperman in Lancaster, Pa., on the staff of the Lancaster New Era. He is editor of Baer's Agricultural Almanac, and editor of the Lancaster Motorist, of the Lancaster Automobile Club (AAA).
He is a past state president of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, and active in organizations fostering art, study of history, and other cultural activities.
Dear Members of the Stemgas Family:
Since succeeding Earlene Ritzman as the operator of the business which was founded by her late beloved husband, the Rev. Elmer Ritzman, I have found readers of our magazines wherever I go.
The respect accorded the Ritzmans is impressive. They made friends all over the country, and many of the letters that come in are written in the vein of warm affection.
It will be my endeavor to serve as my predecessors have done. We plan to keep the magazines as they are today an open forum for conversation about engines and related interest; an ever-growing source of information; and a clearing house where those with questions can find answers.
We will continue to carry news of the many reunions, and welcome both the advance advertising and the accounts of what went on, after they're over.
If your magazine is late, or if you catch us in mistakes, let us know but please try to be understanding. We want to take care of everyone our subscribers, our advertisers, and our customers for the books and other items we sell. It's a big order but we are resolved to do it.
Anna Mae Branyan is continuing as publication manager, and is preparing the articles and the ads for publication as she has done for over 14 years. Anna Mae's office stays in Enola.
Helen and Jim Ament are working on the Lancaster end. Enola and Lancaster are only an hour apart by highway, so we can all get together and talk things over.
Mrs. Ritzman will be happy to hear from you, and I know many readers will want to write to her. She is serving as an advisor and consultant, and I am constantly asking business questions which she answers graciously. Her address, as you probably know, is 808 Wertzville Road, Enola, Pa. 17025