Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

                                                               Simple~”Shaker Box”

Mother Ann Lee founded the Shaker* movement in England. The Shakers desired freedom and religious tolerance.  Mother Ann and eight followers came to Albany, NY in 1774 and formed a settlement there.  Shaker life was very simple, driven by religious convictions, and hard work.

Their architecture followed their lifestyle.  It was almost stark in its simplicity, but served these economically conscious people well.  Mother Lee would remind them not to waste a thing.  The interior of their homes were simple as well.  “Shaker Peg” hooks lined the walls and served as a place to hang coats, hats, as well as chairs, when not in use.  Shaker furniture was plain with clean lines.  The furniture was often made from pine which was durable, yet lightweight.

Mother Lee , a firm believer in hard work, reminded them to “Put your hands to work and your hearts to God.”

The Shaker box, as I have pictured above, was meticulously built individually so that each lid fit perfectly upon each base.
Craftsmen still make Shaker boxes the same way today, using the tools that the Shakers would have used.  The boxes were used to hold everything in a Shaker household from buttons, to dry goods, from shop tools to kitchen items.  In addition, they were made in sizes for nesting.  When the boxes were empty, they could all be nested together into the largest one.  This would fit with the Shaker’s philosophy of keeping things neat, simple and not wasting space.

The Shakers were responsible for the invention of many items including the clothespin, circular saw, flat broom, Babbit metal, a wheel-driven washing machine, and many more.

*The original and proper name of the Shakers is the United Society of Believers In Christ’s Second Appearing.
**Credits to: http://www.wikipedia.com and http://www.shakerboxesnb.com  for information.

***Thank you to my friend Tom for making my Shaker boxes. I have a nest of 6; this is the largest.  Each box in my set has a Bird’s Eye Maple top.  I wish you could see it clearly.  They are truly a work of art….

Good evening friends!
All text and images are copyright © 2005-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

27 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

  1. I wish I could see how it looks inside. It sure looks simple outside.
    Thank you for the story and the image. This is the first time I have heard about a shaker box.
    This surely is my pint of new information for the week 🙂 thank you 🙂

    • Amira,
      I plan to take a photo of my six nesting boxes. I can take a photo of the inside too. It is plain and open inside. They do have boxes with dividing sections for sewing supplies, open top carry-carry alls with a handle and a dividing piece for silverware or anything I guess!
      You are welcome!

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  3. What a beautiful story, Judy! Shakers, indeed, love to shake the status quo! 🙂

    And beautiful picture of the Shaker Box you have captured! … You know when I first saw the picture I thought it was some kind of drum! 🙂

    This post about shakers reminds me of Quakers and I was first introduced to them, I should write about it someday. 🙂


    • Elyas….Do write about the Quakers. That would be great. This is good: “love to shake the status quo!” 😉 Perfect! I didn’t write about shaking in my post. I also forgot to write about the box’s “fingers” or “swallowtails”, those bands that come around the base of the box. Maybe I’ll do it when I post my stack of 6 nesting boxes.

      Ahhhhh yes! Your gorgeous Ethiopian drums! The ones I saw in the chant video? I love those!

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