68 responses to 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use
  • *
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 21st, 2015 at 07:32)

    All of these were part of my childhood….in fact we use a push reel mower now, as well as melmac dishes. Thanks for sharing this, Erik. It brought back fond memories!

    • *
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 21st, 2015 at 12:16)

      I think there are niche markets among the English still for both of those items. You never have to worry about fueling a reel mower. And I came across some Melamine enthusiasts online.

      • *
        Comment on Reel Mowers (January 21st, 2015 at 14:07)

        Reel Mowers

        You are right, Erik, about the niche market for reel mowers. I am now in my 17th year of selling them online and they are doing quite well. I get my top-of-the-line reel mowers from an Amish company in Lancaster County. Nationally, sales are tripling every decade. The sales among the Amish are growing even faster, as is the Amish population. Here comes the shameless plug: people like the superior cut, the safer, quieter, pollution-free operation. I am not sure what the woman in the photo is doing, though. I never saw anyone push a reel mower with that posture.

        • *
          Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 21st, 2015 at 14:31)

          Nice! The girl in the photo looks to be stretching to finish up a row. I have a series of shots which this is just one of. I recognized this move from my experience using my regular mower. In the next shots she pulls it back and then angles in a different direction.

          What does a decent reel mower run nowadays Marjorie?

          • *
            Comment on Thanks for asking Erik! (January 21st, 2015 at 15:04)

            Thanks for asking Erik!

            My Mascot reel mowers are the best reel mowers I have seen. They are built to last a long time, with steel parts where other reel mowers have plastic parts. The four models range in price from $259 to $289 and that price includes free shipping within the 48 contiguous United States. We ship them all over the world, but additional shipping charges will apply. I will give Amish America readers a $10 discount on any Mascot reel mower if they order this week – by Friday, January 23. Please be sure to let me know you read this on Amish America to get your discount. You can order online or via telephone. If you order online, please follow up with an email to get your discount and I will refund $10 to your account.

      • *
        Barbara Long
        Comment on Fond memories (January 23rd, 2015 at 11:21)

        Fond memories


        Melmac was a standard in my house, growing up. I thought it was awesome, as it really took a beating from us five kids in the house. Wish I now had the set my mom used for many years! Thanks for the memories!


  • *
    Trish in Indiana
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 21st, 2015 at 08:21)

    Don’t forget wringer washers. And do any communities use washboards instead?

    • *
      Comment on Mule-powered washer (January 21st, 2015 at 12:14)

      Mule-powered washer

      Hmmm. I’ve never heard of anyone using washboards instead of wringer washers. Even Swartzentruber Amish use motorized washers.

      This is an even plainer solution: http://amishamerica.com/mule-powered-washing-machine/

      That is from a former-Amish, now plain Mennonite community in Missouri.

      There may be other examples among Amish in obscure niche communities but I don’t know them.

  • *
    Comment on Melmac dishes (January 21st, 2015 at 08:35)

    Melmac dishes

    We have eaten on the melmac dishes, so I bought some for us. We find them at a bulk food store in RR Dalton, WI called Mishler’s Country Store. And yes they do get hot in the microwave. The bench wagon will have a stack of those bowls used for lunch after church. With so many kids to feed most of the time, it really does make more sense than a plate.

  • *
    Forest in North Carolina
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 21st, 2015 at 09:14)

    “There’s a funny thing about outhouses. Some non-Amish people seem to have a strange nostalgia for these outdoor toilets”

    Um…Not I, said Mother Hazel’s little boy…. My grandparents had one, and it seemed to be a gathering place for every wasp and spider in the area. It was cold in the winter and hot in summer, and I hated it.

    As my father said, “The best thing about the good old days is that they’re gone.” See also “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be…”

    • *
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 24th, 2015 at 13:54)

      Forest, I agree with you. My grandmother had an outhouse on a hill behind her house. Eww, the wasps and spiders kept me from using it until I could no longer hold it.
      As a little girl I was afraid I’d fall in . . . nuff said.

  • *
    Joan Jardine Sheldon
    Comment on wringer washer (January 21st, 2015 at 09:40)

    wringer washer

    I agree with Trish. The wringer washer needs to be on this list. Also, maybe, ice boxes, the ones you keep food cold with a block of ice.

  • *
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 21st, 2015 at 09:45)

    My aunt chose to decorate her outhouse very attractively–a lovely shade of lavender, calendar and mirror (small) on the wall. Fine screen wire over the ventilation holes and even a small window or two up toward the roof line. Oh yes, and a “ring” over each hole for more comfortable seating. It was thoroughly scrubbed often and she was very proud of how nice she kept it.

  • *
    Robin Miller
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 21st, 2015 at 09:50)

    What about wood fired cooking stoves? From what I’ve learned, some still use those vs. propane gas stoves. Also, are rotary dial phones common vs. push button models in phone shanties? I can remember visiting my non-Amish grandmother in the late 50s, early 60s on her Southern Maryland tobacco farm. The only running water that she had was a sink in the kitchen so we used a backhouse. She had a “pot” that we could use when it was too cold or wet to trapse down the hill to the backhouse. She did have a propane gas stove; however preferred using her wood fired cook stove … best fried chicken and biscuits on earth! She heated that kitchen with the stove and had a “space heater” in the adjoining dining room (which she used for her bedroom in her elderly years). No other heating in the house. My father remembered breaking the ice in the wash basin in his bedroom and splashing his face for a very brisk winter wake-up! My uncle wired the kitchen and dining room with electricity in the 1940s … just an overhead light in each room and then if you wanted to plug anything else in, you could screw a socket into multi-light fixture. I tell my kids these things and they find it hard to believe! So glad that I had this experience!

    • *
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 21st, 2015 at 11:18)

      Good morning Robin and all, I have memories of the
      same things screw in socket thing, for sure wringer
      washer. The outhouses that I was “blessed” to use
      all had the seat rings to make it more comfortable to
      use. We had a faucet out in the garden to attach hose
      to for watering and for us to wash off maters or radishes
      to eat while out there. I am thankful we have progressed
      but enjoyed those days too. I love visiting Amish
      areas and Holmes County was wonderful, Patti also in

    • *
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 21st, 2015 at 12:24)

      I don’t really know about the phones in shanties, I’d probably guess they’re mostly push-button. I just don’t think it would matter if you are going to have a phone anyway, plus they are usually voice mail-equipped.

      Though some phone shack telephones are actually pay phones. I took a couple of photos of these in the New Wilmington PA settlement: http://amishamerica.com/last-time-you-used-pay-phone/

      By the way sounds like you’d appreciate creature comforts after an experience like that!

  • *
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 21st, 2015 at 09:50)

    I had the pushing lawn mower all the while I owned my house. My Father wouldn’t let me near a power lawn mower after I ran one up the three once. I remember the dishes as my Mom had a set of those back in the 1960’s. They were a big deal back then. I never liked to go into outhouses.

  • *
    Robin Miller
    Comment on P.S. (January 21st, 2015 at 09:51)


    P.S. Now that I think about it, just looking up at my fireplace mantel, I see two of my grandmother’s everyday tools … her flatiron that she heated on her stove and her hand-cranked coffee grinder. My treasures!!!

  • *
    Comment on melamine abounds! (January 21st, 2015 at 10:12)

    melamine abounds!

    If you look at Target or any mass merchandiser, you will certainly find melamine dishes. They are often sold as children’s plates, but you can get them in everyday styles as well. A warning went out at one point saying that if they are microwaved, not only to they get hot, they may release BPAs since they are made of formaldehyde. I try to only use them for sandwiches and such and never heat them up. I’m assuming most Amish don’t have that microwave issue!

    • *
      Robin Miller
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 21st, 2015 at 10:29)

      I purchased some melamine plates last summer for my grandchildren to use when they visit … always handwash … my daughter had some and made the mistake of putting them in her dishwasher … OOPPSS!! I remember one of my older sisters having a set in the early 60s. She callled them Melmac … they were burgundy and gray as I recall. Worked great with her 4 very energetic children!! You can also still find these originals in antique stores.

  • *
    Debbie H
    Comment on Melmac and out houses (January 21st, 2015 at 10:58)

    Melmac and out houses

    You can keep those Melmac dishes, I never liked them. And outhouses, the smell was bad enough but my oldest sister told me there were snakes in them and would come up and bite my butt. All the parks in my hometown had outhouses and so did a lot of camps. I remember trying to hold it in until we went home but never could do ended up doing my business fast as I could while holding my breath. I also remember the sockets in the hanging light. That is where the iron was plugged in.

    I am nostalgic for the slower life style, ability to run the neighborhood and not worry about abduction and Sundays at grandma’s house eating fried chicken on the picnic table. I’ll happily leave the Melmac, outhouses and no a/c in the past. Thank you very much. 🙂

  • *
    Don Curtis
    Comment on Outdated Technologies (January 21st, 2015 at 18:17)

    Outdated Technologies

    Well, in my ninety-two years I’ve seen a lot of technologies come and go. One of my jobs when I was a teenager was at the roller rink. I fastened on the skates to people’s shoes by tightening them up with a key. Nobody had shoe skates in those days. The skate part fastened on to your regular shoe. I wonder how many of those jobs are still available. Especially for the nickel or dime tip I got. Milk was delivered by horse and wagon. So, was ice. Our first car, when I was a boy, was a 1928 Chevy. I walked or rode the street car to get any place. No street cars, anymore. Now, here I am using a computer and when I was a boy we didn’t even have a telephone.
    At Mark’s house he uses a wringer washer. No melmac. He likes Franciscan pattern china. No outhouse, either. Actually, his house has two full bathrooms. But all three of the school houses have outdoor toilets. I’ve never been in them. Mark says they are kept clean.

  • *
    Comment on suspenders (January 21st, 2015 at 20:08)


    As a suspender-wearing lawyer, I’ll throw in my opinion. They are much more comfortable than a belt, especially if you wear your pants on your waist, instead of slung low on your hips. I especially like them when I am doing yard work or anything that involves a lot of moving around. With a belt, I have to keep hiking up my pants if I move around a lot.

    • *
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 22nd, 2015 at 11:56)

      I had the impression that lawyers and other professionals that wear them with suits appreciate the bold, “power” look of the suspender. I didn’t realize that there was a big comfort advantage, but it sounds like you wear them casually. I feel like I’d be continuously conscious of the straps over my shoulders and it doesn’t seem like it would be comfortable. Though I don’t like belts either.

      • *
        Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 24th, 2015 at 11:51)

        To wear them casually, I have added metal suspender buttons to my blue jeans and yard-work pants. I also have suspenders with clasps that I can attach to any pair of pants. For work, I have different suspenders that attach with smaller buttons. If you wore suspenders all the time, you would not notice the straps over your shoulders, just like you don’t regularly notice the other clothes you wear (if they fit correctly).

  • *
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 21st, 2015 at 20:57)

    No personal experience here, James, but my husband rates bib overalls above suspenders, and suspenders above belts! Not sure how your clientele would go for bibs!

    • *
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 24th, 2015 at 11:53)

      I agree with your husband. My clients never see me, we just communicate by fax and telephone. So, I sometimes were bib-overalls to work. I find that the bib makes them too hot in the summer.

      • *
        Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 24th, 2015 at 14:06)

        Love the suspender dialog. Did you know that each order has different rules on HOW to wear suspenders? Straight up. Crossed in back. And did you know Swartzentrubers do not wear them?

        Among Englishers it’s been in and out of fashion through the years.

        Don Curtis, thank you for sharing your memories.

        • *
          Mark – Holmes Co.
          Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 24th, 2015 at 14:13)

          In the Old Order here in Holmes Co., it’s a choice. A little boy wears suspenders until he hits the age where it’s optional (usually when he gets to the upper grades in school) and from then on it is a matter of choice. (Or maybe a matter of weight? Ha ha.)

          • *
            Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 24th, 2015 at 14:21)

            Wow, Mark — I hadn’t noticed that before. (And I’m usually pretty tuned in to that kind of thing.) I had to dig through my pictures from Holmes Co., and sure ‘nough, there was a picture of the father of the Amish family we stayed with, and he’s without suspenders. His father, who was also raking hay at the same time, was wearing suspenders. And that never caught my attention! Thanks for sharing.


            (Here are some shots of Amish traffic outside of Mt. Hope (Holmes Co.), and you see some with and some without: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ozarkinspirations/sets/72157630597191890/ )

          • *
            Comment on Some Amishmen opt out of suspenders (January 25th, 2015 at 09:32)

            Some Amishmen opt out of suspenders

            Thank you, Mark, for pointing this out. I probably should have mentioned something about that in the post. Though I believe Nebraska people are the only ones who universally do not wear suspenders. If someone knows of another group let us know.

            In northern Indiana I believe things work similarly to what you describe in Holmes County. For example in both of these posts you can see one photo of an Amishman without suspenders, in Nappanee and Elkhart/Lagrange.


            How about for church? Do you know in Holmes is it true that they are still worn to church by those who don’t wear them on an everyday basis?

            • *
              Mark – Holmes Co.
              Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 26th, 2015 at 08:46)

              Erik, I can’t think of anyone in the Old Order who wears suspenders to church who does not wear them other times, but I have seen a few Swartzentruber men wearing white suspenders at weddings that I’m pretty sure I have seen without suspenders through the week.
              The Nebraskas don’t wear suspenders at all, but there are a few others, like the Enon Valley Amish, New Wilmington, and so on.
              There is a big difference in how the suspenders are made, too. In some groups it is set out in Ordnung how they are to be made, but in others there is a big variety. In our group suspenders are most often made of the same fabric as the pants and sewn right on and either cross to make an X in the back or an H. Some like Dan Gmay also have sewn on suspenders but though it looks like an X in back, if you look close you see the straps don’t cross but come together so it’s more of an )( but sewn together where the straps meet. Or maybe >< describes it better. Others like Abe Troyer have a Y shape.

  • *
    Stephen B.
    Comment on Outhouse smells (January 21st, 2015 at 21:47)

    Outhouse smells

    Outhouses may not smell all that nice, but they do spare the main house from smelling similarly. Let’s face it, exhaust fans, chemical air fresheners and what have you don’t always eliminate bathroom odors especially in winter (or even in the summer with the increasingly present air conditioning forcing the windows to stay closed.) Indeed, I once read that one of the main objections some old timers had back when indoor bathroom plumbing was being introduced a hundred years ago was that the home was going to smell like a barn. That is, indoor bathrooms were seen as being uncivilized, animalistic, and even kind of barbaric in their own way, rather than hygienic as we see indoor toilets today.

    • *
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 22nd, 2015 at 11:58)

      Interesting. And funny to consider now. Putting myself in their shoes though, that apprehension actually makes sense.

    • *
      Mike Lucas
      Comment on U (July 19th, 2016 at 08:23)


      Paraphrasing an elderly gentleman that came to live with his nephew whose home had both indoor and outdoor facilities, “Why would anyone want to do their business in the house?” (I cleaned that up, BTW.)

  • *
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 22nd, 2015 at 06:02)

    Among those Amish who churn their own butter, do any use manual churns, rather than motorized ones? If manual churns are used, are they old-fashioned ‘plunge’ churns, with a wooden plunger in a vertical container, or more sophisticated ones with paddles operated by a rotating handle?

    • *
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 22nd, 2015 at 11:53)

      RC maybe someone else here can answer. I’ve never seen the old fashioned plunger churn in any Amish homes, but that doesn’t really give you an answer. I kind of doubt it, but if they are used it would be in the plainest homes. And of course your question makes me think of the Weird Al video.

      • *
        Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 22nd, 2015 at 14:19)

        Thanks, Erik. Yes, it was the Weird Al-style stereotype that made me wonder if any Amish at all used that kind of churn.

      • *
        Mike Lucas
        Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (July 19th, 2016 at 08:17)

        The Amish in our area use both plunger and crank type churns, some of which are homemade. I’ve seen plunge type churns made from a five gallon bucket and a broomstick attached to an X crossed two board beater made of 1″x4″s.

    • *
      Mark – Holmes Co.
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 24th, 2015 at 10:36)

      I have never seen the old style plunge churns used to make butter, but I know of several families who use the hand-cranked paddle kinds. Our favorite is one that is made to use with a rechargeable cordless drill.

  • *
    Comment on Melmac-style dishes (January 22nd, 2015 at 10:03)

    Melmac-style dishes

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Melmac-style dishes were used in households with young children. The Melmac are less dangerous than a set of stoneware if a young child accidentally drops one. Our family used Melmac for years until my mom felt we were old enough (around 8-10 years old) that we wouldn’t drop stoneware. She then happily purchased a set of stoneware dishes that she had been eyeing when we reached that age.

  • *
    Trish in Indiana
    Comment on Erik, idea for next essay! (January 22nd, 2015 at 12:02)

    Erik, idea for next essay!

    Erik, maybe your next essay should be “Technologies People Are Surprised the Amish DO Use.” Even though I’ve lived in Amish country all my life, I know that back when I learned they used wringer washers I was surprised they didn’t wash by hand, and a lot of the farming implements raise eyebrows of out-of-town tourists.

    I think it’s hard for us English to wrap our heads around the standards that lead to one technology being acceptable and another not, and of course, it only makes it more complicated that it may be accepted in one community of Amish and not another. It’s easy to oversimplify and sort of imagine the Amish as some kind of museum exhibit of life at some stage in the past, as if they were a reenactment sponsored by the local historical society rather than a living community in 2015.

    • *
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 22nd, 2015 at 12:10)

      Great idea Trish. Five Technologies you might be surprised the Amish use.

      I think you’re right and put this really well. I feel technology use is one of the harder things for outsiders to “get” about the Amish. People automatically think it’s hypocritical or nonsensical when there is often a good bit of thought and weighing of consequences that plays out over time.

      By the way, if anyone else has suggestions for article ideas, I am glad to hear them. I have a growing list which I keep adding to.

      • *
        Trish in Indiana
        Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 22nd, 2015 at 12:32)

        Glad you like the idea, Erik! I look forward to seeing the article. (But I won’t hold my breath, if you’ve got a whole list!)

  • *
    Comment on Push lawnmower: Melmac dishes (January 22nd, 2015 at 17:51)

    Push lawnmower: Melmac dishes

    My brother and I used a push reel mower when we were so young it took two of us to push it. My Dad modified the handle so it would be easier for us to push. When my wife and I were married, one of our prized wedding gifts was a complete 8-place set of Melmac dishes, including serving dishes, creamer, etc. My new bride was tickled.

    • *
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 22nd, 2015 at 17:56)

      Our set of melmac, brand name of Texas-Ware, received in 1961 for a wedding shower, was of the wheat pattern. Still have a few of the cereal bowls (brown) that survived. The white plates stained terribly from the iron in our well water.

  • *
    Christina C.
    Comment on Modern mixed with old-school (January 23rd, 2015 at 09:47)

    Modern mixed with old-school

    There are a lot of Amish patrons at the library where I work. But when I first worked here, I was surprised at how many used the computers–many have online businesses, or home businesses that require internet ordering. Also, I was surprised by the cellphones, although not anymore–anyone with a business needs a cellphone, at the very least. My biggest surprise, however, is the DVDs. Many of our patrons who are Amish borrow DVDs, and not always the good, wholesome ones, either.

    My point is this–we’re all people, and we all have the same wants and desires. Sometimes you just can’t get away from modern living. I love living in this part of Ohio, but I’m also so glad that I never have to use an outhouse!

  • *
    Kathy Beamer
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 23rd, 2015 at 11:11)

    5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use

    I still have melamine dishe in my cupboard right now.I still use 4 out of 5. The out house I don’t use anymore. But that’s ok. I guess I’m still old school.

  • *
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 23rd, 2015 at 20:01)

    You could have done ten if you wanted to get into word processors and heating methods, but you know that. Interesting take on the perspective of “technology.” That dinnerware is very interesting! Although many of the Amish I know have swapped it for Corelle (which also heats up in the microwave)I’m sure there are melamine diehards. I actually saw some for sale at a big chain housewares store recently, and wondered who on earth among the non-Amish would buy that. Now I think I ought to go back and hoard it for wedding gifts.

  • *
    David Kowalski
    Comment on Pushmower? (January 24th, 2015 at 07:49)


    When I was a kid a friend of mine thought it was really hilarious that we used a push mower even though my dad was a major. His dad was enlisted and they had a motorized mower so to him was really strange that we still used this old technology. One thing I didn’t appreciate until we got the power mower was that the push mower never failed to start.

    • *
      Comment on Push reel mowers: they start when you do! (January 24th, 2015 at 12:19)

      Push reel mowers: they start when you do!

      This reminds me of something that happened to me in 1998, when I first started my internet business selling push reel mowers. I decided to try each model that I listed before making them available for sale. I was very excited when I got my first sample mower and went out to the front yard on a Saturday morning to try it out. My neighbors were all going out with their big, stinky, noisy gasoline powered mowers at the same time. They laughed when they saw my little push mower. “Ha ha! Haven’t you heard? There are power mowers now, you don’t have to use those old-timey things anymore.”
      And off I went, mowing while they tried to get their modern wonders started. “Bleh-de-bleh-de-bleh” said their mowers, over and over. I had my entire front lawn mowed before the guy across the street, who was laughing the loudest, even got his mower started.

  • *
    Comment on Suspenders and other thoughts... (January 24th, 2015 at 11:37)

    Suspenders and other thoughts...

    I’m not a lawyer, but count me among the suspender-wearers — and a pastor. But only occasionally, when I get a bit more dressed up than usual. I find it interesting that suspenders are considered classy/dressy by whatever the English equivalents are of both the high and the low Amish. One guy told me that I must be a pessimist, ’cause I wear both a belt and suspenders.

    About the Amish and their not being anti-technology, I’ve had an Amish woodworker really surprise me one time when he told me of traveling some miles away, across the state line, to go to an technology fair. As I recall it wasn’t something just for the Amish, but some of the things were adaptable to the Amish limitations. Another time an Amish farmer described what seems to be a niche industry geared to making advancements in technologies that are “kosher” to the Amish and many of their restrictions.

  • *
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 24th, 2015 at 13:48)

    Great and interesting article. On the first question, Have you ever heard one Amish person suggest another Amish person is “behind the times”?

    Actually, yes!

    Not yes exactly but, Ira Wagler, author of Growing Up Amish, who left the OOA told me once that the Swartzentruber Amish are “backward.”

    • *
      Mark – Holmes Co.
      Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 24th, 2015 at 14:07)

      As just regular Old Order Amish, I agree! They do seem “backward” in many ways, but I suppose we seem just as backward to non-Amish, so it’s all in your own view.

  • *
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 26th, 2015 at 20:40)

    Melmac? Mom had that.
    Outhouse? At my grandparent’s and uncle’s house until electricity finally went in at their little corner of the American West circa early 1960s.
    Sad iron? That and kerosene heated irons in that little corner of the West until the electricity came in, along with kerosene stoves.
    Reel lawnmower? Actually common until the early 1960s.
    Galluses? Very common to this day among history professors and some professional types. History departments can be a kick as the wardrobes often tend to draw inspiration from the faculty member’s areas of specialty.

  • *
    Comment on Note on Galluses (January 26th, 2015 at 20:41)

    Note on Galluses

    Those in academia, and those who are British never call them suspenders as the British use the word suspenders to refer to a woman’s garter belt.

    • *
      Comment on Suspenders in the UK (January 27th, 2015 at 12:19)

      Suspenders in the UK

      Did not know that about the garter meaning Nadja. British speakers call suspenders braces, I believe. Which of course is something that goes on your teeth in America.

      I understand the word pants is similarly treacherous.

      • *
        Grace, London UK
        Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (February 10th, 2015 at 18:14)

        I’m British and while the correct term is braces, I wouldn’t think of a women’s garter belt if you said suspenders, I’d think of braces. Maybe if you said it to my mum or grandmother it’d be a different story?

        We also have braces on our teeth but they’re also retainers.

        How complex this all is.

        • *
          Grace, London UK
          Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (February 10th, 2015 at 18:18)

          Braces are quite fashionable at the moment:


  • *
    Comment on 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use (January 27th, 2015 at 19:46)

    I think you’re right on the Brits and braces, because I seem to recall hearing that in academia.

    The mind of a child is a fascinating country, I can remember being about six or seven and wondering why my father and several other faculty referred to their suspenders by a Latin word I associated with the pet Banty rooster hanging out in my grandmother’s yard with all of his little hens.

  • *
    Frances Cavallo
    Comment on Technologies the Amish Still Use (January 30th, 2015 at 13:18)

    Technologies the Amish Still Use

    I think it is amazing that r he Amish can accomplish so many things without the use of modern technology, so many times! God Bless You and Your Family! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  • *
    Grace, London UK
    Comment on We still use all this... (February 10th, 2015 at 18:07)

    We still use all this...

    Maybe I should become Amish as we still use all this stuff.
    Not the outhouses most have been converted but there’s still quite a lot around especially in the country. My aunt never got rid of hers until she died.

    As for the Melamine Bowls I wouldn’t put them in the microwave that’ll probably give off some good old carcinogens.

  • *
    Barb Hegman
    Comment on Galluses (April 2nd, 2015 at 19:29)


    When I was 10 years old and lived in a brand-new subdivision house in Detroit, we moved to Tennessee. That part of the mountains was extremely “backward” to us girls. I was surprised by the word “galluses”, as I had never heard it. The straps in the “overhauls” were called galluses and my mother explained that it was the same as suspenders. As an adult, I read the word in an old book, so I immediately looked it up. Part of my heritage is English-Scottish-Irish (and the rest is Cherokee Indian and German). I’m always interested in how a word developed, so I was surprised to learn that the word “galluses” was derived from the Scotch-Irish, and literally meant “gallows” – to hang! Makes sense doesn’t it? Barb

Leave a reply to 5 Outdated Technologies Amish Still Use


Resource List
Reliable information from one of the largest Amish sites on the web.

Join over 15,000 email subscribers to get:
Amish Community Info | Book Giveaways | Amish Writers & non-Amish Experts | More

Get email updates

100% Free | No Spam | Unsubscribe Anytime