The design, construction, and finishing of the furniture was ruled by the Millennial Laws which were first promulgated in 1820 and significantly revised in
1845.Shaker ideas were similar to those of Louis Sullivan…" form follows function". Shakers often bought items from others and stripped them of ornamental features.
Some examples shown were benches, a chest, an adult cradle for when people were ill, a ladder-back chair, a center post table, and a Victorian multi-drawer chest. They would use whatever wood was available and often painted the furniture.
In 1937, historian Edward Andrews visited all the communities and bought furniture. He compiled his experiences in a photographic history. In 1935, the Whitney
Museum was the first to exhibit Shaker handicrafts.