Shaker Exhibition

Because of my goodreads giveaway, I am behind on my blogging. Now that most of the books have been put in the mail to the winners, and the remaining ones ready, I can turn my attention to something else.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to an exhibition of Shaker items at the New York State Museum. I”d wanted to attend the program on Children and the Shakers, which was unfortunately canceled. But the display was still up and will be until March.

Despite all my research, I still learned some new facts. One of the pieces on display was a Granny Cradle. The explanation given was that it was used either to comfort the ill adult or to move them.

I did not know that some parents indentured their children to the Shakers. Several contracts were on display.

Here is the board listing a boy’s duties.

shaker boys

The morning began early, at 6:30, with many chores before breakfast and more after. School (from Dec to March for the boys) was fit into the mornings. Photos of smiling children on outings were also on display. It may seem harsh to modern eyes but hard work was usual even for very small children then.

We also paused on our way out to see the exhibit on the World Trade Center. Crushed trucks and heavy beams bent and twisted like licorice sticks. Even after the passage of more than a decade, this exhibit has not lost its power.

world trade center

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