The Buckeye Tool Expo was held a little over a week ago in Dalton, Ohio. From what I hear it was a dynamic event packed with people from all over.

Some correspondents from NPR’s “Planet Money” attended and interviewed an Amishman named Elva Otto (who I’m guessing by his name is probably from the Arthur, Illinois community).

Elva was the only Amish person who agreed to be recorded, as he says with a chuckle, “cause I don’t know how to keep my mouth shut”.  Elva’s company builds industrial skylights to provide a lighting boost to Amish businesses.

One word used in the story to describe Amish tech is “loophole”.  I think that may be a natural way to describe it from an outside observer’s perspective, but the word implies getting around the rules by exploiting a weakness or oversight.

On the contrary I’d think these dealers are providing technologies that are “officially sanctioned” by a number of Amish churches, or at least not explicitly prohibited (though this is acknowledged to a degree when the speaker notes Elva’s alternate description of Amish tech).

It’s an interesting story which you can hear in full via the player below.


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