Other Inspirations

 

 

The Shakers are a religious sect founded in the 18th century in England and migrated in 1774 to the United States. Due to their search for Integrity and their intention to recreate "heaven on earth" they aimed for total autonomy and independence in order to avoid that their way was being contaminated by the "outside world". For that they autonomously produced all they needed for their utopia. This included housing, textiles and clothing, food, remedies, tools, etc. They carefully chose each location for their settlements to make sure all natural resources where available.

In fact they where first appreciated after years of persecution for their radical religious beliefs when they decided to share their products, which they produced all with utmost care and dedication to quality, by selling them on the open market. The first products where seeds which had a high quality and where soon appreciated by a great number of local farmers. Other products such as furniture and household goods followed soon, making them "famous" throughout the country. Not only the quality of their products but also their sincerity and generosity changed how people viewed this first true American utopian community. They for example believed that all knowledge that could be useful to the world should be passed on free of charge. It is said for example that they invented the circular saw which has in a way revolutionized the woodworking industry also the flat broom is accounted to them. Due to their humility the Shakers mostly did not patent any of their inventions and this makes it up to date difficult to give a guaranty for many inventions having their origin in the Shaker communities. But there is no doubt that the Shakers attitude towards sharing knowledge have contributed to technological improvements and advances. One could say they where the first to apply the rules of the creative commons.