Hello. I'm Dr. Neil Gale.

I am an Illinois Historian, Lincoln Scholar, Publisher, Author, and Researcher. I enjoy presenting stories and photographs that bring Illinois' history to life. The next evolution of modern-day Historians is to interact with history by allowing readers to add to the richness of an article's topic with additional facts, photographs, and personal or professional experiences. This approach can help to create a more comprehensive and engaging understanding of the past. It can also help to connect people with their history in a more meaningful way.

Social media, such as Facebook and "X" (formerly Twitter) can be a real benefit for
Educators and Historians. Crowdsourcing allows users to add to the overall presentation, enriching everyone's experience. In October 2012, I started a Facebook group called Living History of Illinois and Chicago. People from all over the United States have joined the group to participate in this social and educational venue. Our common-sense group rules free the group from "bad actors," making it one of the most interesting, educational, and entertaining history groups on Facebook.

The group hosts junior and senior high school (6th-12th grades) history and social studies classes with their teachers and educators. The classes use the subject matter for lesson plans and in preparation for Illinois History Day and Chicago's Metro History Day projects.

The Digital Research Library of Illinois History® began as a resource for students and educators. It offered scanned books from the 19th and 20th centuries in searchable PDF format. In 2022, I migrated everything to my blog, Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal™.

Dr. Gale has been collecting Illinois history books for over 40 years. The Journal contains over 1,850 Dr. Gale articles organized into various categories, making it easy to find articles on specific topics. Also included are hundreds of antique books in searchable PDF files. The Journal allows users to comment on articles, share their stories and photographs, and collaborate with other researchers.

I'm excited to see how this approach to history can evolve. I believe that it has the potential to make history more accessible, engaging, and relevant to people of all ages.

I'm always looking for new ways to interact with history. If you have an idea, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for your interest in Illinois history! We're full of it.

From my first published article in November 2016, over 6.4 million Illinois history enthusiasts have visited my Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal™

Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal™ has over 6.4 million readers. The library holds over 1,950 of my articles, hundreds of searchable antique books in PDF, historical research papers, and more. The public can freely make comments adding information and personal experiences. One of many special researched topics is 140 Defunct Illinois Amusement Parks in Illinois.

The 1893 World's Fair Library
The largest collection of 1893 World's Columbian Exposition documents, research papers, and antique searchable PDF books online.

Abraham Lincoln Forum™ Facebook Group
On July 28, 2020, I was removed and blocked from an Abraham Lincoln Facebook group because I provided proof that the post a member made was not at all truthful. Little did I know the person was the group's Administrator. After sleeping on the issue, I decided to start a new Facebook group the next morning. I named it the Abraham Lincoln Forum™. There are a lot of quality posts, articles, and photographs.

Dr. Gale's Lincoln Library
As a Lincoln Scholar, I present dozens of my research papers, time period news paper articles, and a whole lot more.

Living History of Illinois and Chicago® Facebook Group
The Facebook Group is public, so anybody on Facebook can read our posts. Only group members are allowed to post and comment. I have instituted a stringent set of posting policies [PG-13] which are moderated and censored in the group(s) to maintain a safe place for everybody to learn and participate. Our large membership boasts high quality, robustly researched posts with lots of pictures and member interactions.

Illinois History Store®
I've personally created unique designs and recreated vintage logo products and printe them on hundreds of products including dozens of styles of shirts and clothing with lots of colors to choose from. Lots of mug styles, glasses and drinkware, a variety of keychains, home and office accessories and so much more. You'll get lost in all the memories that flood your mind with the places, the tastes, the sounds, etc.. You'll leave with a unique souvenir or two.
The Chicago Postcard Museum
The Chicago Postcard Museum is a privately endowed, independent organization devoted to collecting and presenting Chicago history through postcard imagery and the correspondence sent to others. The Museum displays a small portion of my personal collection of rare, antique, vintage and contemporary Chicago postcards.

MY BOOK: The Midway Plaisance at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago
For one brief summer in the 1890s, it was the greatest attraction in Chicago, in all America, in fact, more visited and talked about than the world's fair it adjoined. Here, amidst Muslim mosques and Chinese pagodas, European castles and South Sea island huts, straw-hatted Americans came by the thousands to see Bedouin warriors, Egyptian belly dancers, lions that rode horseback and roller-skating bears. Over it all loomed the first giant Ferris wheel, taller than all but one downtown Chicago skyscraper, but only by a few feet.

I look at the Midway from the entertainment aspect. It's the birth of the American amusement park. This was where Americans first "turned out for an unrestrained good time." Here, the Victorian age of amusements ended and a new modern age began. For the next hundred years, Chicago would help lead this revolution in American popular culture — the revolution that created the modern amusement park — a revolution that began here, on the Midway Plaisance, that summer of 1893.

After the World's Fair closed on November 1, 1893 the Wheel's inventor, George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., found a new site for his observation wheel in 1895.

Watch this 1 minute film of the Ferris wheel
"Ferris Wheel Park."

It was located on Chicago's North Side, at 1288 North Clark Street.

Read more about Ferris Wheel Park's history in my book "The Midway Plaisance at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago," I present some rare photographs.


1893 World's Fair Library
Dr. Gale's Lincoln  library
Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal

Illinois History Store® Vintage Logo Items
Living History of Illinois and Chicago® Facebook Group
My Book: The Midway Plaisance at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

COPYRIGHT © 1998-2024 Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D. - All rights reserved.