Notes from watching Ken Burns' The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God.

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The Shakers

Started in 1774 in America, very small, at its height only 6,000 members. But they were perfectionists, and strove for transformation of earth into heaven, and in doing so architected beautiful things. Buildings, furniture. Invented the modern close pin, the flat broom instead of the cylindrical broom. 

They believed in celibacy (no children) but also in feminism (equality between men and women, very early). 

A sister invented the circular saw. 

When they noticed that thieves were stealing their crops, they simply planted more. 

They were among the first conscientious objectors after they pleaded their case to Lincoln during the civil war. They were pacifists.