I've never thought of it quite that way, John. I guess I've grown too used to it. It was a common Shaker practice to hang chairs upside down from their peg rail. It got the chairs off the floor for cleaning and hanging upside down kept dust from settling on the seat where it could be picked up by clothing. All in all, it was very practical. Now it's a curiosity, I guess.
I love this spare Shaker aesthetic -- though I'm not capable of living in it. And I really enjoyed your posts on cotton mills -- sad to think that they were a step up for any of the workers,
I was just going to ask why they hung them upside down. You answered my question. That is very practical, but it has gotten so that my walls are also crowded and I couldn't do that in my house. I remember when my aunt, who lived down the hill from us, mopped her kitchen, she lifted the chairs up off the floor and set then upside down on the edge of the table.