SOOT IN THE FLUES


| November/December 1970



Soot in the flues

Well, with the last issue of the magazine, Elmer began his twenty-fifth year of sending out the magazine that's quite an accomplishment in one's life. The Sept.-Oct. issue should read Vol. 25 No. 1, but there was a misprint as they had No. 6. This error wouldn't mean too much to some folks, but to those who keep their magazines for years they will want to correct it.

On July 29, 1946, Elmer wrote his first paper entitled, 'Steam Engines Are My Hobby,' which told of a trip he and his wife had taken, trying to meet other folks interested in these machines. They visited many places and people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois, leaving June 24th and returning home around the middle of July. He then sent out this first paper three pages with printing and three pictures including a Port Huron of Carlton Johnson's of Clio, Michigan; the Jumbo engine of Fred W. Kiser, Pittsfield, Illinois, and Leroy Blaker of Alvordton, Ohio, with his Advance-Rumely.

On the fourth page of this first booklet was this: 'WE PROPOSE -One of the reasons for this letter is to get those of the same interest introduced.

We have always felt the need for a Magazine that would give vent to our feelings. Maybe we can get one started sometime. Let us try! We expect to get out another letter in a couple months and would like if you would introduce other interested folks. Write to me giving their names and addresses, also a description of their interests and machines they may have. We could use about three or four good photographs. Thanks a lot. Elmer L. Ritzman, Millerstown, Perry Co., Pennsylvania.' (How about that 3 or 4 pictures and look at it today!)

Then in the winter of 1946 the first issue of the magazine came out under the name of 'The Farm Album' and under it the quotation 'Who bring the forth out of his treasure things new and old.' Matt. 13:25. This was an eight page booklet. Then it grew to twelve pages, then sixteen and all in all 16 issues of The Farm Album were sent out and then with Volume 5 of Sept.-Oct. 1950, Number 1 issue the name of the magazine was changed to 'The Iron-Men Album Magazine' and was then to be printed six times a year and the cost was $1.50. As any child grows, so Elmer's baby flourished and became fatter and eventually costlier and better. And so it goes from thirty some subscribers we now have over eight thousand interested people in preserving the past history for the future.

And of course as most of you know, the Iron-Men Album Magazine has a little sister magazine her name is GEM (Gas Engine Magazine) and with the Jan.-Feb. 1971 issue she will be five years old with a subscription list that is now over four thousand. And all this data has come about because of Elmer's ideas and you people who are interested and help by giving us the material to keep the magazines going. I say our THANKS and HATS OFF to a tremendous personality, Elmer Ritzman, a good friend our family has been privileged to know for many years and a fine 'Boss-man' for whom I've worked now over thirteen years.