Friday, December 03, 2021

So we were talking about Amish buggies the other day.....

Despite what you heard, the Amish aren't against technology. Communities adopt new gadgets such as fax machines and business-use cell phones all the time—so long as the local church approves each one ahead of time, determining that it won't drastically change their way of life. 

So it is with the Amish horse-drawn buggy. You might have thought the technology inside this 1800s method of transportation stopped progressing right around then. Instead, buggy tech keeps advancing, and buggy makers have become electricians and metalworkers to build in all the new tech you can't see under the traditional black paint.


  1. In the seventies I new a kid from, The New Order of Mennonites. They could have cars but all the chrome had to be painted black. I think one mirror cuz it was the law. This kid loved his weed. He had a radio with 8 track too. He would take the family car and hook up is tunes and get wasted. Then pull the tunes and hide them before he went home. He was a good guy. Last I heard he stopped being a rebellious buck and went the straight and narrow back to the order.

  2. quite a few in virginia. in my area they run traditional buggies, no frills. sadly, they all too often get plowed by cars flying down the two lane backroads. met about ten buggies and wagons loaded down with kids a couple saturdays ago, looked like they were having fun.

  3. Mennonites here have a lakehouse property near ours, with large engine tritoon boat. They pull boys on waterskis & tubes. Tow boat to public launch with tractor. Girls swim in their long dresses, boys in shorts & t-shirts.
    Most Amish in this area now have flashing hazard lights and headlights on buggies...after multiple car/buggy collisions.

  4. Lot of Mennonite in my rural neck of the woods. In summertime on date night (Friday) the teens pull out the "Sunday" buggies and adorn them with colorful lights. I see them going down the road and it actually brings a smile to my face. The quarter horses are sometimes adorned with lights also.

  5. I worked a contract in southern PA some years ago, and one of the client managers had a batch of buggy silhouettes on the side of his SUV, each covered by a red negation symbol. I thought it was a joke, but one of the other managers told me that each of them stood for an accident that the manager had been involved in. He had only been in the area for about two years...He hated the Amish with the fire of a thousand suns.

  6. I do appreciate the Amish/Mennonite, and others way of life and their commitment to that same. It's refreshing in our tumultuous world we live in. I watched a construction video a whu=ile ago and for extra help they hired a bunch of local Amish carpenters. Appears they aren't don't have any convictions about using power tools, just against owning them.

    1. Each community makes their own rules, but as I understand it their problem is that power lines pierce the separation between their godly community and the world. If they are working outside their community, power tools and power lines are no problem, but they don't want to own tools that they can't bring home.

      In the Amish community I am somewhat familiar with, near Manton, Michigan, they have power for their sawmill, and the furniture shop has electric lights, power tools, a computer, and a phone line and internet connection - all strictly for the business of making and selling furniture to the _gai_. Their dairy farmers have power to the barn for cooling the milk, but no one runs power to the house. The harness maker gets along without electricity, using a very heavy-duty pedal-powered sewing machine for the stitching.

      Mantonites have adjusted to coexisting with buggies. They widened the paved shoulders of the main drag to make buggy lanes. The Amish community has a few gravel roads nearly to themselves; if you drive a car out there, you watch out for buggies. The only time their buggies are in much danger is if they need something from Cadillac, 8 miles south, and can't arrange a ride in a car.

  7. Here in North Maine, some of the Amish in my immediate area are of Swartzentruber variety.
    Their buggies and they, themselves are the most basic of all Amish.
    We had to fight with the "Bishop" to have him OK reflective tape on the buggies because the kerosene lanterns are nearly invisible at night.
    Even then, when coming on them at night, the tape sometimes looks like a streetlight, so I suggested to staple a tape flap on the rear wheels that would move up and down, as well as flash under headlights.
    NO Dice.
    They consider any car/buggy accidents to be "God's will".


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