Article initially published by Louis Hertz in 2003.
In February of 1952 Lou Hertz became the new publisher and editor of the magazine Electric Trains, which was owned by Fox-Shulman Enterprises, Inc. The first article to appear in the initial issue of Electric Trains after Lou become conductor and engineer of this all too short-lived magazine was a letter from the editor, appropriately titled "The Observation Platform." Fifty years later we believe that the words that Lou wrote are as true today as they were then. We've copied his observations into this article word for word except for the substitution of Tinplate Times for Electric Trains. We believe that Lou Hertz would approve. We hope that you agree! - Dave McEntarfer
REGARDLESS of its physical quality, no magazine can long endure unless it fills the needs of its readers. We who produce the magazine can only aim at giving you, the reader, what you want, what you will enjoy and find useful. It is therefore much more than a mere gesture when we say that Tinplate Times must be your magazine; that in the final analysis you, not we, will edit Tinplate Times.
As model railroaders ourselves, we think we have a fair idea of what you will like in a magazine. Where we prove wrong, we expect that you will correct us. Contrary to what might at first thought seem the case; it is a great deal more difficult to edit a tinplate magazine than any other type of model railroad periodical. There are so many diverse interests in tinplate-layout construction, operation, scenery, conversions, history, collecting old models and catalogs, to mention but a few-and our audience is so varied, ranging, we know, almost literally from six to sixty; from boys tasting the first thrills of model railroading with a simple outfit, to men with cellars full of equipment.
We will try to serve all of these fans; to achieve a balance or blend that will make each issue of Tinplate Times of real value and interest to each of you. We are certain that in criticizing us-and we sincerely want criticism even more than we want praise-that you will bear in mind this necessity for providing a mixed dish, "a magazine so diversified, that readers all are satisfied," to paraphrase a famous old tinplate slogan.
We want and need help from every reader. We have many changes and new features in mind for the coming issues of Tinplate Times. Some appear in this issue. Others will be presented in the months ahead. Despite the care with which we have made our plans, this program depends on you. We need articles, pictures,