It seems crazy that you can buy Amish products online, but there are tech-friendly middlemen who make this possible. Amish steamer trunks and a stepstool that transforms into an ironing board are two Amish products we looked at earlier that have URLs, and which non-Amish people might like to buy. What else do the Amish make that still have a place within the modern lifestyle?
We took a look at Lehman's, an Ohio-based retailer of home products that sells "low-tech items in a high-tech world." Lehman's began in 1955 as a hardware store that served the Amish community (they're based in Amish Country) and today have many Amish vendors. Here are some of the objects we found in their Amish-made section:
Having owned rickety metal ironing boards before, this sturdy maple and birch unit sounds appealing. And yes, it folds flat for storage.
The Amish might not live in urban microapartments, but they still value space-saving items. This drying rack effectively disappears when not in use. They offer both large and small options.
This is a much higher-capacity rack than the accordion variant, but still folds up for storage.
This handy object is a seat that turns into a stepladder. It's made out of oak and can support up to 300 pounds.
Solid and made from maple, this rolling kitchen workstation has plenty of storage and a 2"-thick butcher block top.
An easy-to-carry hamper that folds flat when not in use.
They call it a "cookbook holder," but they know you're going to use it for your iPad.
There's no motor to burn out, and turning the crank is way easier than stirring a whisk through thick material. Mechanical advantage FTW. It can be set on high or low speed and has a dough hook in addition to whisk attachments.
I absolutely hate the plastic brooms sold in home centers and hardware stores today. The bristles are always too short and they don't sweep particularly well. This more effective, old-school corn straw design is the type that my family had when I was a kid, and I lamented that no one makes them anymore. Turns out, the Amish do.
There's plenty more to see on Lehman's website. Give their non-Amish section a look too.
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Glad you’re writing on the Amish furniture industry, it’s actually quite larger than you’d think. I live in the heart of amish country. My grandpa was amish and actually one of the first woodworkers in the area(he started Schrocks of Walnutcreek if you’re interested). As I said, it’s larger than most people realize. As farming became less profitable for small farms(big farms become bigger and small farms close up) more amish farmers moved to woodworking to support their families. Holmes county now has the largest concentration of hardwood furniture manufacturers in America. A few years ago the community formed a Furniture Guild(hardwoodfurnitureguild.com/about) to help market the area’s products. I’m familiar with Lehman’s stores, they have two locations in the area. But they’re not the biggest player in the local furniture industry. The biggest players would be Homestead Furniture(homesteadfurnitureonline.com), Abner Henry Fine Furniture(abnerhenry.com),which are both actually owned by the same amish business man, and Canal Dover Furniture(canaldover.com). There are many more smaller companies that are amish owned in the guild. I have a personal connection with the Amish furniture industry and would love to share more about it, so if you’re looking for a contributor or just a contact for future reference let me know ;). PS. I love the articles you creat Rain, a refreshing practical approach to the design industry, keep it up!
Last time I was down to Amish country, I saw this in one of the shops.
That's what I was going to mention. Saw one in person and was amazed by the ingenuity of the 3 completely separate uses based on the rotation. I'm surprised other mainstream companies haven't done a plastic roto-molded version (Little Tikes, Step2, etc.)