2019 Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 10: Berea College Brooms


Batting cleanup for the gift guide, I recommend you try the Shaker Braid Brooms from Berea College. Not only are these the best brooms I’ve used, but they are made by students at Berea College, one of the eight “labor colleges” in the United States. Students get free tuition and they work 10-15 hours a week to help support the college.

We own a lot of brooms and use them throughout the day to keep things tidy. The brooms from Berea feature tightly packed broom corn – and lots of it. As a result, they make a literal clean sweep. And they last through years and years of abuse.

While all the utility brooms from Berea are great, I’m partial to the Shaker Braid variant (above, left) as it features a nice bit of handwork where the broom transitions to the handle.

I know you are thinking: It’s just a broom.

It ain’t.

— Christopher Schwarz

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7 Responses to 2019 Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 10: Berea College Brooms

  1. Jerome Hanby says:

    Umbrella stands are nice too…


  2. Andrew says:

    Not to dissuade from Berea College. If anyone is near central / western Illinois. Swing through Bishop Hill & the Prairie Arts Center. Handmade brooms & rugs from local artisans. Beautiful architecture & interesting history from a different type of communal society. Founded by Swedish immigrants in the mid-19th century.


  3. Alan R Garner says:

    In my reading a number of books about the Shakers, and visiting quite a few of their locations, I learned that a “good” broom has plenty of broom corn such that it will stand up by itself. We moved a couple years ago from Amish country Pennsylvania and I brought with me several brooms from there that all meet the specs of standing on their own. That said, I do like the Shaker Braid broom from Berea. When the broom gets worn out you could cut off most of the broom corn and have a polisor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steve P says:

      I wonder if that is where the saying “stand on its own” came from? Its always interesting to me to find out where some old sayings actually came from. Some don’t make much sense until you hear where they came from, unless you infer your own meaning onto them.


  4. Another place with similar brooms is in Vancouver’s Granville Island : https://broomcompany.com/

    Not to take away from Berea. But sometimes handling before purchase is nice. I just bought a turkey wing whisk from them.


  5. Shaker Braid Brooms are the dirty hippies of Polissoirs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mike777 says:

    Does the 2019 Hegemonist’s Gift Guide kick-off tomorrow?


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