From the very first years of the existence of this Society, the people were industrious and hard working. Their founder and spiritual leader, Ann Lee, had instructed them, “Put your hands to work and your heart to God.” There was a pervasive concern for quality in every form of production among the Shakers, as well as for honesty in dealing with the world in the selling of their products.
Shaker farms were models of efficiency and orderliness and greatly admired by agricultural experts. From the early nineteenth century on, they implemented revolutionary agricultural practices: whenever possible they endorsed the use of mechanization and the most labor-saving technology available in order to obtain the best quality product and to allow time to be involved in activities of a spiritual nature.
American Communal Societies Quarterly