Amish heat their homes in various ways, including wood and coal stoves and natural gas heaters. How do they stay warm when they hit the road?
The answer to this question would depend in part on what kind of buggy you drive. Those Amish whose Ordnung prohibits a storm front (the “windshield” enclosing the front), such as the Nebraska Amish group, have a harder time keeping the buggy toasty.
Those that require only open buggies, such as most Swiss Amish churches, are most exposed to the elements. On frigid days heavy blankets are a must.
If you’re in a church that permits them, and have about 200 bucks to spare, you can also get a heater for your buggy. These photos were taken by a reader at an Amish-owned small engine shop in Indiana.
This one shows the full setup with fuel source:
How does this work? Our reader explains:
They usually mount the heater in the middle of the dash. They run on propane gas and the the tank goes in the back of the buggy. Most buggy heaters are blue flame as opposed to infrared. Infrared heats by emitting infrared rays which nearby objects like buggy blankets absorb. I believe some do use infrared heaters in their buggies, but I know they are not considered safe.
From their speedometers to their cigarette lighters to their alternators, Plain buggies share many features with cars. Some even carry roof-mounted solar panels and GPS systems. The important part as buggies evolve, of course, is that the horse stays attached.