Celebrating 60 Years – History of Our Shaker Furniture


Shaker Simplicity

Simplicity, purity, and utility have been the founding cornerstones of Shaker furniture, design, and living, for nearly as long as America has been a nation. Today we will discuss the history of Shaker furniture at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, in honor of our 60th Anniversary.

The Shakers sought to apply harmony and order to every aspect of their daily life. As they put it, “Do your work as though you had a thousand years to live and as if you were to die tomorrow.” Implying a work ethic devoted to simplicity, functionality, and longevity.

Shaker Comparisons

Shown above is a long Shaker style table, that was once referred to as our “Pine Sofa Hall Table” in our 1975 catalog. The sides folded down as many of our drop-leaf tables do today. Pictured below, we see the development of our furniture line through the end of the 1970’s. The appreciation for our commitment to American traditions and workmanship became well known throughout the Northeast by the end of this decade, and the furniture collection was expanding as well. Seen on the left is a large “Shaker Hutch” and to the right, a Shaker style “End Table.” You’ll note its striking similarity to our current Country Shaker End Table.


Shaker Ingenuity Since 1953

Pictured to the right is an assortment of Shaker style furniture we offered in our very first catalog in 1953. When compared to our current assortment in 2013, the classic, clean lines and simple functionality of the pieces have not changed very much at all. Here’s an except from pg. 5 of this catalog, describing “The Story Behind SYW Furniture:”

‘The worth of Sturbridge Yankee Workshop furniture can be measured from the spirit of craftsmanship which goes into each piece. The originals from which our pieces are copied stood the test of time because of that same craftsman’s spirit of accepting nothing but the best.’

Strurbridge Yankee Workshop’s Shaker Furniture is now handcrafted locally, here in Maine. The ability to form fine workmanship and quality materials into valuable pieces you will be pleased to have in your home or office, is a commitment all of us at SYW are proud to offer to our customers year after year.

~ Browse the Shaker Furniture Collection at SYW today.


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