Always alert for ways to save time and manufacture things for sale to ""the World,"" the industrious Shakers invented hundreds of useful gadgets. As founder Mother Ann Lee predicted, however, the celibate Shakers have become few in number--though their spirit still prevails in preservation of their villages and interest in their culture, especially appreciation for their well-crafted furniture and other objects. This carefully organized survey of their efficient, thoughtful inventions also covers other aspects of their lives--cleaning, cooking, growing things, medicine--in which they exercised ingenuity, as well as the ""gift to be simple,"" while profitably producing such items as seeds, baskets, apple peelers, and tin bedpans. An interesting account that obliquely conveys, along with its concrete detail, the Shaker philosophy. The illustrations are--well--simple, depicting the inventions more dimensionally than the people.