I'm Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.
an Illinois Historian, Lincoln Scholar, Author, and Researcher, I enjoy presenting stories and
photographs that make Illinois' history come alive. In my opinion,
the next evolution of a modern day historian is to interact with
history by allowing the reader to add to the richness of the articles
topic with additional facts, photographs, and personal or
This is where I see social media, such as Facebook, a real benefit.
allows users to add to the overall presentation enriching
In October of 2012, I started a Facebook group I called "Living
History of Illinois and Chicago." People throughout the United
States, have joined
the group to participate in this social educational venue. What makes
my group one of the most
interesting, educational, and entertaining on
Facebook stems from our common sense group rules that keeps the group free of 'bad actors.'
The group hosts Junior and Senior High School (6th-12th
grades) history and social studies classes with their teachers and
use the subject matter for lesson plans, and in preparation for
Illinois' History Day and Chicago's Metro History Fair projects.
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
commenting 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
The 1893 World's
The largest collection of 1893 World's Columbian
Exposition documents and 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 Abraham Lincoln Forum™. There are
a lot of quality posts, articles, and
Living History of Illinois Gazette™
The FREE daily statewide newspaper. Headline delivered directly to your
inbox with the link to the newspaper's full edition. No
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
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.
The Midway Plaisance at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in
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
revolution that began here, on the Midway Plaisance, that summer
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 a 1 minute film of the Ferris wheel
actually running at "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.
I've researched over 140
Defunct Illinois Amusement Parks and counting.
Abraham Lincoln Library - Blog
Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal™ -
Illinois History Store® Vintage Logo Items
Living History of Illinois Gazette™ The Free Illinois
Living History of Illinois and Chicago®
The Midway Plaisance at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in