Branched off from a Quaker community, Shaker is a religious group founded in the 18th century in England. Shakers settled in colonial America, after initial settlements in New Lebanon and New York. Shakers today are mostly known for their celibate and communal lifestyle, pacifism, and their model of equality of the sexes. At its peak in the mid-19th century, there were 6,000 Shaker believers. By 1920, there were only 12 Shaker communities remaining. There is now only one active Shaker village, Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, located in Maine, USA.
Shakers are also known for their simple living, architecture and furniture styles. With guiding principles of simplicity, utility and honesty, shakers’ beliefs were reflected in the well-made furniture of minimalist designs. Many regard Shaker Style furniture as the forerunner of Northern European style furniture. Nowadays, many furniture designers would still go to Shaker’s Museum to learn about Shaker style.