- A New Beginning for an Old Friend

| 2/2/2009 1:55:00 PM

The man who started it all,
Iron-Men Album founder
Elmer Ritzman, 1888-1971

It’s been a long time coming, and it’s finally here, the new website and a new beginning for an old friend.

While old timers are aware of our rich history, many people only recently introduced to the steam hobby and the history of steam on the farm don’t realize that our roots go back to 1946 and Rev. Elmer Ritzman’s first steam hobbyist magazine, The Farm Album. In 1950, Ritzman went from quarterly to bimonthly publication, and The Farm Album became The Iron-Men Album, a name change that underscored his intention to celebrate not just the machinery of the old days and the culture of the farm, but the people who operated that machinery of yore, the Iron Men.

Ritzman’s interest in steam traction engines and the culture of the farm was more than a passing fancy; it was an abiding passion that guided his life. In 1966, his interest in farm machinery drove him to launch Gas Engine Magazine, still America’s only publication for collectors and restorers of gas-powered farm engines. Although Ritzman passed away in 1971 (he was born in 1888, the heyday of steam traction technology), his passion continued to drive the spirit of The Iron-Men Album, and in 2003 it became Steam Traction magazine to increase focus and interest on steam traction engines. Although Steam Traction ceased regular publication in December 2007, it remains today as

With the launching of the new, steamers and fans of vintage farm equipment can search through the extensive archives of The Iron-Men Album, Steam Traction, Gas Engine Magazine and Farm Collector for past stories on the history of steam and farm equipment, plus find regular updates on engine and farm shows. We’ll be running regular exclusive features on engines and owners across the country, plus linking to steam traction stories run in the pages of Farm Collector, which you can get to immediately by clicking the “In This Issue” button.

While we have literally thousands of pages of stories loaded into this site, we’re actively adding more. To that end, I’m encouraging everyone in the steam hobby to send us their photos and recollections on steam traction engines. Whether it’s a note and photos from a show you went to 30 years ago or just three weeks ago, we’d like to hear about it so we can share your experiences with the rest of the steam community.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Facebook YouTube