Portfolio

Magazine Articles

Greg is a lifelong student of history, and his popular magazine articles in both Early American Life, where he is a contributing editor, and A Simple Life, where he is a contributing writer, are a well-rounded counterpoint to his marketing, business and technical writing. He also has written and ghost-written articles for Secure Computing, PC and several other technology magazines.

 

Christmas in Times of Civil War

A Simple Life, Winter, 2011

More Americans experienced hardship during our Civil War than at any previous time, and the Christmas holidays that fell during those five years were surrounded by extraordinary events. This article tells of the joy, longing and grief our ancestors experienced, as well as the beautiful depth of the human soul.

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Primitive Rug Hooking

Early American Life, March, 2011

Rug hooking continues to grow in popularity, with colorful patterns being recreated from antique rugs, as well as new rugs using traditional themes. This article discusses the history of rug hooking in America and includes interviews with some of the leading rug hookers in the country today. I co-authored it with well-known rug-hooking authority Edyth O’Neill.

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Windsor Writing Chairs

Early American Life, October, 2008

Windsor chairs are a hallmark of American furniture making, and the Windsor writing chair is the pinnacle of the line. Throughout the 19th Century it was favored by statesmen, doctors and clergymen for its elegant lines and utilitarian appeal. This article presents the fascinating history of the Windsor writing chair and features a half-dozen of the country’s most notable furniture makers who still create by hand this distinctive chair.

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Reading in the Colonies

Early American Life, February, 2010

Despite the hardships of living in the wilderness, America’s earliest colonists were avid readers, eventually achieving a literacy rate that surpassed that of England. In this article I explore the growth of reading in the colonies, what types of books the colonists read, and the impact on early American society. (This article first appeared under one of my pseudonyms.)

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Colonial Punishments

Early American Life, August, 2009

America’s earliest European settlers brought a fair share of Old World religious and punitive practices with them, relying on shame and humiliation to keep their fellow citizens in line. This article examines colonial punishment from the 1600s to mid 1800s, explaining the rationale behind these often harsh practices.

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Early Cooking Hearths

Early American Life, October, 2009

Hearth cooking has sustained people for millennia and was prevalent in early America from the 1600s until popularity of the cookstove in the 1830s. This article discusses the American evolution of hearth cooking, colonial fireplaces and hearth utensils, plus explains some of the common historical errors people make in equipping their hearths. It also has a useful guide on who makes cooking-hearth equipment today and where it can be obtained.

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Walking Sticks

Early American Life, August, 2010
No personal accessory in human history has a more diverse heritage than the walking stick, and it was great fun for me to trace the evolution of the cane and especially its varied presence in early America. An astounding array of folk-art canes ~ as well as their more formal counterparts ~ are highly collectible and today can fetch several thousands of dollars.

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Personal Lighting

Early American Life, June, 2010
America’s colonists carried a variety of personal light fixtures, such as lanterns, chambersticks, and even pocket-size candleholders, sometimes regarded today as “colonial flashlights.” A select few of today’s skilled tinsmiths and blacksmiths continue to reproduce these items, mostly to satisfy demand from the growing numbers of Revolutionary-era and Civil War re-enactors. This article explains the history of these lighting devices, plus I talked with several of the leading artisans still making them in the traditional ways.

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