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Submitted by Diane Gann
These pictures are from the Payne Family
I enjoyed the pix of this group working with broom corn. The first broom was created by the Shakers (a religious sect that practiced celibacy back in the 30's and left this area (Colonie, NY) back in the late 30's and in Massachusetts in the mid 50's. There is a tiny community of Shakers still in Sabbeth Day Lake, Maine. I worked at the Shaker Heritage Society in Colonie (around Albany, NY) as the museum shop manager and we grew broom corn at the same location where the Shakers grew it. It also was grown where Albany International Airport has their main runway!! The Shaker communities that were here were sold and are privately owned. The Society is struggling (Church Family) because they only survive from donations, memberships and events put on by the volunteers (craft fairs, etc.)
The society has broom corn equipment that was found in the attic of the main dwelling. They use it to demonstrate how to strip the seeds from the tassels, bundle and tie it and the end result is a beautiful corn broom. Very fascinating!!
Just thought you would be interested in the first discovery of the broom. The Shakers also discovered the clothespin, circular saw, and many other inventions. They were very creative folks that faded out because of their religious beliefs (celibacy).