Mother Ann's vision of paradise - celibate, communist, pacifist, egalitarian - is practically non-existent today. Today, Sabbathday Lake in Maine is the only remaining active Shaker community and many of the empty villages are museums.
Circular saws, flat brooms, clothes pins, packaged seeds, swivel chairs, all first came out of Shaker workshops. The Shaker design is easy to recognize - elegant, practical, spare, precise, unornamented. Perfection, not beauty, drove the Shakers. Every object had to retain its use for eternity.
Oval storage boxes, perhaps the most famous of Shaker designs, were built to last forever. Though the wood is light and delicate, the construction enables it to breathe without warping, and the copper nails will never rust.
Shaker objects are models of utility, precision, and cleanliness, in which beauty has no part.