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.


Animal Portraits

Early American Life, February, 2012

America’s early folk artists portrayed the animals that surrounded them with love and respect, unlike many European artists of the period who produced far more brutal depictions of the animal kingdom. A group of talented contemporary folk artists carry on the early American tradition painting animals in the home, on the farm or in the wild.

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Bride’s Boxes

Early American Life, June, 2012

Popular in Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries, the practice of giving colorful wooden boxes as wedding gifts to brides just never caught on in America. Today, many wooden boxes from that period are mistakenly called “Bride’s Boxes,” though their beauty remains unquestioned. This article features four contemporary artists who keep the original concept of the Bride’s Box alive and well in America.

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The McQueen House

A Simple Life, Spring 2012

Shelvy McQueen for years had a dream ~ maybe obsession is a better word ~ to live in a log cabin. This article tells of the fortuitous circumstances that enabled Shelvy and her husband Clarence to finally obtain her cabin in Waldron, Indiana.

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Scenic Murals

Early American Life, June, 2011

Some of America’s most charming wall decorations of the 1800s were murals that itinerant artists painted in the homes of people who could afford them. This article examines the history of America’s 19th century murals, the artists who painted them, and discusses the work of some excellent contemporary artists who faithfully reproduce these uniquely American scenes.

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Stars and Stripes

Early American Life, August, 2011

The history of the American flag is one of the most fascinating historical topics I’ve researched. The flag’s origins are murky and filled with half-truths, such as the Betsy Ross legend. We don’t even know what our nation’s earliest flags looked like, and our museums often unknowingly display fakes.

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The Campbell House

A Simple Life, Fall, 2011

In the mid-1800s, a small Swedish religious sect selected a site in western Illinois for its colony. Called Bishop Hill, the sect is long gone but several of its sturdy buildings remain. Cheri and Jim Campbell for years sought one of the buildings and today live there happily, as well as owning an antique shop and the village bakery in this incredibly peaceful setting.

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Milliner’s Models

Early American Life, April, 2010

It turns out this charming early-1800s German doll so popular in Europe and America was not at all a model for displaying milliner’s offerings, but always was as originally intended ~ a true doll for play. This article explores the myth surrounding the “varnished head” doll that remains so popular today with collectors around the world.

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Early Nails

Early American Life, June, 2008

A deeply researched article tracing the development and use of the common nail from the Stone Age to the mid 19th Century. A number of fascinating facts are included, as well as interviews with a handful of blacksmiths who still maintain the long legacy of creating nails by hand for historic homes and museums. The article also has a look at the one steel-cut nail factory still operating in the US.

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William Matthew Prior, Artist

A Simple Life, Summer, 2012

I’m a great lover of American folk art, and this article was a pleasure to research and write. Prior was one of the few early folk painters who also could paint in the academic style, but gave his clients a choice of which style based on price. Nearly everyone selected his plainer ~ and less expensive ~ style, and it became the standard for American folk art portraits during the 19th century. Plus, he was a very interesting fellow indeed.

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American Painted Tinware

Early American Life, December, 2006

Painted tinware was big business in early America, including some of the nation’s first factories. It was sold in city shops and by itinerant peddlers alike. This article explains this fascinating history plus features interviews with some of the most skilled artists painting country tin today.

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