THUMBNAIL HISTORY OF THE PRRT&HS

The Society was incorporated in 1974 in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an educational, non-profit corporation.
In addition, the Society is recognized as a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service.
The PRRT&HS is the successor to the Pennsylvania Research and Information Association originally formed in 1964.

 

PRRT&HS EARLY HISTORY
 
1964                Elmer M. Steuernagel and John M. Prophet were introduced to each other by Richard D. Adams at the Altoona Association of Model Railroaders.  They discussed the need for having a PRR railfan organization.
 
Sept. 1964       Steuernagel and Prophet agreed to establish an organization to gather, disperse and publish information on the PRR.
 
Feb.19, 1966   They agreed on a name for PRR organization: Pennsylvania Research & Information Association (PR&IA).
 
Oct. 1966        The PR&IA was reorganized to become an international organization open to anyone desiring membership.  Until the reorganization, the PR&IA was a closed group of about 20 – 25 PRR railfans who had similar interests.  Steuernagel was President and Prophet was Vice-President.
 
Feb. 1967        PR&IA stationery was printed and used for the first time. 
 
Fall 1967          The first issue of a quarterly publication was planned with Steuernagel as Editor and Publisher.  The main article was to be on air reservoirs on PRR steam locomotives by Prophet.  However, because research could not be completed by early spring 1968, a PRR passenger car equipment roster as of Oct. 1930 was substituted by Prophet in Dec. 1967. 
 
Dec. 1967        Membership application brochures were printed.  They were sent to prospective members and distributed freely.
 
Dec. 1967        Membership applications and money ($4 per year, which included $1 initiation fee) began arriving at PR&IA home office (515 Miranda Rd., Pittsburgh, PA). 
 
Jan. 1968         Membership cards and welcoming letters were initiated.
 
Feb. 1968        Steuernagel and Prophet chose the name of The Keystone for the quarterly publication.
 
April 1968        The first issue of The Keystone was published and sent to members.  The “From the Editor”, “Train Phone” and “The Interchange” columns were introduced for PR&IA announcements, general information and members’ ads, respectively.  100 copies were printed; there were about 60 members at that date.  In the early days, mailing parties were held at the Editor’s home to hand collate, staple, fold, stuff, address and stamp The Keystone.  These were attended by Elmer Steuernagel, Chuck Feather, Paul Bendz, and later by Gary Rauch and Bob Johnson. 
 
July 1968         This issue of The Keystone was the first to list the staff: Editor – Steuernagel and Technical Director – Prophet.  The “Information Exchange” column was introduced for members’ questions and answers. 
 
May 10, 1969  The First Annual Meeting was held in Pittsburgh, at the William Penn Hotel.  The registration fee was $1.  Seventeen members and two spouses attended.  By this time, Charles F. Feather was Secretary-Treasurer of the PR&IA.  With Steuernagel and Prophet, the three were Trustee Members and managed the Association. 
 
Oct. 1969        Membership had grown to 130. 
 
May 9, 1970    The Second Annual Meeting was held in Altoona, at the Penn Alto Hotel.  The registration fee was $1 ($6 with banquet).  Attendance was 30.  The first Board of Directors was established.  Joining the three Trustee Members (Steuernagel, Prophet and Feather) were Gary C. Rauch and Frederic V. Shaefer.
 
Sept. 1970       Dues for 1971 were raised to $4 and a Sustaining Membership category was offered at $10. 
 
Feb. 23, 1971  The PR&IA Constitution and By-Laws, written by Robert L. Johnson, were accepted by the three Trustee Members. 
 
May 8, 1971    The Third Annual Meeting was held in Harrisburg at the Holiday Inn Town Motor Hotel.  The registration fee was still $1 ($7 with banquet).  Attendance was 61.  At this meeting Steuernagel and Feather were elected to one-year terms, Prophet and Shaefer were elected to two-year terms, and Robert L. Johnson was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors.  The Directors elected Steuernagel as President, Prophet as Vice-President, and Feather as Secretary-Treasurer. 
 
July 1971         A new 3-color brochure, developed by Gary Rauch, was available for introducing people to the organization.
 
Fall 1971          The Board of Directors met and adopted a policy that dues renewals must be paid by March 31.  After that, a late fee of $1 must be paid.  
 
Oct. 1, 1971    There were 278 members, including 21 Sustaining Members
 
October 1971  “The Test Plant” column was introduced for model reviews and other modeling information.
 
March 1972     The first Special Publication “The Painting of P.R.R. Locomotives and Tenders” was announced for release in April at $1.50 to members and $2 to non-members. 
 
Apr. 22, 1972  The Fourth Annual Meeting was held in Baltimore.  Steuernagel and Feather were elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors.  The officers were re-elected by the Board. 
 
May 19, 1973  The Fifth Annual Meeting was held in Pittsburgh at The Viking – Quality Inn Motel.  The registration fee was $2 for members ($8 with banquet).  Prophet and Shaefer were elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors.  The officers were re-elected by the Board. 
 
Summer 1973   The Board of Directors raised the dues for 1974 for Regular Membership to $5.  Sustaining Membership remained at $10. 
 
Nov. 9, 1973   The Board of Directors met and voted to dissolve the PR&IA and to form a Pennsylvania Non-Profit Corporation as successor, pending approval by the membership.  James J. D. Lynch, Jr., Esquire, volunteered his services to handle the incorporation.  The Organization’s name was changed to Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society, after permission was given to PR&IA by Penn Central to use the name “Pennsylvania Railroad” and official keystone emblems. 
 
Jan. 20, 1974   Approval to dissolve PR&IA and form the PRRT&HS was received by at least two-thirds majority vote of the membership. 
 
Mar. 6, 1974    The Articles of Incorporation of the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society were accepted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The Articles had been signed by the five members of the Board of Directors (Steuernagel, Feather, Prophet, Johnson and Shaefer) on March 1, 1974. 
 
May 1974        The second Special Publication “Pennsylvania Railroad Class K2 – K3 4-6-2 Locomotives” was produced.  It sold for $2 to members and $2.50 to non-members.
 
May 18, 1974  The Sixth Annual Meeting was held near Enola at the Summerdale Junction Quality Inn.  The registration fee was $2 for members and $4 for non-members.  The banquet was $6.  Attendance was 140.  This was the first meeting under the name Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society.  Due to the incorporation as a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation, all Board members were continued in office for a year. 
 
June 1974        The first issue of The Keystone to carry the name “Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society” was Vol.7, No.2, dated June 1974.
 
Sept. 1974       The Board of Directors set the dues for 1975 at $6 for Regular Membership and $10 for Sustaining Membership.  A new category, Contributing Membership was added at $25 and above. 
 
Dec. 31, 1974  Membership was 442, including 38 Sustaining Members. 
 
Jan. 17, 1975   Robert L. Johnson agreed to replace an over-worked Elmer Steuernagel as Editor of The Keystone.  Frederic V. Shaefer was appointed to handle “The Test Plant” column and all modeling items.  Richard D. Adams was appointed to handle the “Information Exchange” column.  Steuernagel remained Publisher and Prophet remained Technical Director. 
 
Mar. 1975        This marked the first appearance of separate sheets carrying editorials, announcements, reviews, ads, and model railroad items.  These were called Supplement to The Keystone.
 
Apr. 26, 1975  The Seventh Annual Meeting was held in St. Davids at the St. Davids Inn.  Registration fees were the same as in 1974, but the banquet cost $8.  Attendance was 117.  Richard D. Adams was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors.  The Board elected the following officers: Steuernagel as President, Prophet as Vice-President, Feather as Secretary and Johnson as Treasurer. 
 
Aug. 1975        The PRRT&HS was recognized as a tax-exempt organization by the IRS.
 
Dec. 31, 1975  Membership was 472, including 47 Sustaining Members and 2 Contributing Members.  
 
March 1976     The Supplement to The Keystone was renamed The Snapper. “From the Editorwas renamedPosition Light”, a column for Society announcements and editorialsA “Pennsy Modeling Notes” column was introduced for announcements, questions and answers, and articles on modeling the PRR.  “The Test Plant” continued with model reviews.  The “Train Phone” column continued for book reviews and announcements.  “The Interchange” continued for non-commercial ads from members.
 
May 15, 1976  The Eighth Annual Meeting was held in Altoona at the Penn Alto Hotel.  Registration and Banquet cost $12 for members and $14 for non-members.  Elmer Steuernagel and Russell L. Wilcox were elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors.  Officers elected by the Board were Steuernagel as President, Prophet as Vice-President, and Feather as Secretary-Treasurer.  The membership approved a motion to allow the Board to establish local subordinate units to be known as Chapters. 
 
June 1976        Volumes 1 and 2 of The Keystone were reprinted as complete annual volumes and were available at $8 each.  
 
June 28, 1976  The Philadelphia Chapter was formed under newly-enacted Chapter By-Laws. 
 
Sep. 17, 1976  The Pittsburgh Chapter was formed.
 
Oct. 22, 1976  The Board of Directors set dues for 1977 at $7 for Regular Membership, $15 for Sustaining Membership, and $25 for Contributing Membership.  Johnson resigned as Editor, due to greatly increased demands of his job.  Steuernagel resumed as Editor on a temporary basis. 
 
Feb. 2, 1977    The Chesapeake Chapter was formed.  [This chapter is no longer active]
 
Apr. 24, 1977  The Ninth Annual Meeting was held in Pittsburgh at the Viking-Best Western Motel.  About a hundred members attended.  Prophet and Shaefer were elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors.  The Board re-elected the officers.  The following appointments were made: Richard D. Adams as Editor of The Keystone, Fred Shaefer as Resource Development Editor, Karl Anderson as Layout Editor, Russell Wilcox as Editor of The Snapper, and Don Coulter in charge of “Pennsy Modeling Notes”.  The “Information Exchange” column moved to The Snapper. 
 
Sept. 1977       Chuck Feather was appointed to handle printing of The Keystone, and Don Coulter, to handle mailing.  Ian S. Fischer was appointed to handle the “Information Exchange”. 
 
Oct. 21, 1977  The Board of Directors met and accepted the resignation of Steuernagel as President, due to his impending relocation to Arizona.  He remained on the Board to fulfill his term.  Shaefer was elected President.
 
Dec. 31, 1977  Membership in the Society was 659. 

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Last modified: December 19, 2010