Another home interior courtesy of Karen Johnson-Weiner. Today, an Amish bedroom and lamp in a progressive Michigan Amish home.
This type of cabinet design typically holds a propane tank. These usually have wheels on the bottom making them easy to move about, with a holder for magazines, papers, or books.
However if you look close you’ll notice that there is a curly Q type light bulb in this one. Some Amish use non-traditional forms of lighting. Some bathrooms are equipped with small low illumination battery operated bathroom lights. Those are pretty convenient when stumbling around in the dark at 3am.
You sometimes see small low power bedside lamps as well. New Order Amish friends I stay with in Ohio have one on the bedstand. It’s just enough to get changed and read by.
The style of glass lampshade seen in this photo is popular among Amish. In Monday’s post on Amish architecture we looked at changes to both the exteriors and interiors of Amish homes. Lampshades are one area where Amish might show off a decorative flair.
Many designs are available. To give you a sense, here is a lampshade selection in an Amish lighting and solar shop called The Lighthouse, located in Holmes County:
Here is an example of a more traditional Amish lamp. Amish craftsmen create home furnishings–some for other Amish, such as the lamp above–and much for a non-Amish market. Read more on Amish woodworking in the Wolverine State here: Amish Furniture-Michigan.
You might also like:
Inside an Amish Home:Bedroom and Lamp
I find this so fascinating. I have been in a home in PA that uses these decorative gas lights. It fooled us all when we first saw it. I also saw that their battery-operated clocks are becoming fancier..with decorations and inspirational verses on them. I still would be nervous using gas operated things, such as lamps. I would prefer to use battery operated ones. But, it is interesting to see how they are progressing.
Thanks for sharing this post with us!! Blessings, Kristin
One of my favorite lamps with many functions, sort of like the Swiss army knife of lamps. Richard from www.Amishstorys.com
So would you say this particular lamp is run on electricity or perhaps battery power?
There is a similar lamp shop on Vine St. in Arthur, IL now. I believe it is Yoder’s which used to be out in the country but I am not sure. Next time I am down there I will try to get some pictures. But I doubt I will get down there now until September. I have really got to get this move under way. I am way behind schedule with other things getting in the way. I move the computer August 9th so I will be online sort of regular until then.
I am very disappointed to see this. Not only is it an incandescent bulb, but it’s fluorescent at that. The decorative lampshades are a disappointment, also. This really changes my views about how sincere the Amish truly are about remaining separate from secular society. I am now in Crawford County, PA, and I’ve been here for about a month, so far. There are quite a few Amish and Mennonite, alot of different types. I even saw an Asian Amish driving a truck, and some Amish using cell phones. This is a great disappointment to me. I wonder if they still uphold true Biblical values?
Ya, so what light bulb should they use – those stupid curly things environmentalists have forced on us that you CAN’T throw away because they are so full of mercury and they don’t work?
Amish are not “into” all the crap liberal environmentalist force on us. They use what is there. Good grief, this light bulb has been around for how many years – a little longer than the stupid environmentalist have been around??
My response to people are “disappointed” to see an Amish person using a cell phone is that it is not up to US to dictate what someone else’s faith is. The Amish are a very “organic” church, constantly evolving and evaluating…They are the only ones who get to decide what is permissible within the framework of their church. You find a wide range of doctrinal interpretations among the Amish…some Amish would find cell phones and battery-powered lamps anathema, others not so much…but that is up to them to decide, not us.
As far as an Amish-Asian truck driver, that’s just silly…You can’t tell by a quick glance what faith someone is…
What values make it necessary to point out that the Amish person you saw driving the truck was an Asian? That shows bias.
Need I remind anyone here that the reason that we modern people switched to electricty was for fire safety. You could try to find it in your heart somewhere to be pleased with people when they are trying to be safer in their own home.
Shawn – Seriously? What does that have anything to do with their Biblical values? If their lighting is bad for the environment or something, maybe they just don’t know that. Using cell phones is wrong? Maybe they’re waiting for an organ donation! You just don’t know. Maybe you shouldn’t judge them on their outer things or the fact that they’re not fitting into your preconceived box of what they should be. It’s OK for them to like pretty things, too, it doesn’t mean they’re not plain or that they love the Lord any less.
It is not to my taste when it comes to lamps, I would probably have used an LED-lamp with batteries if allowed if I were Amish. They last for a long time too and seem more practical.
Shawn, really? Just what is your notion of what an Amish person must be? Don’t you think you are being a bit judgmental without knowing all the facts? Even separated from the world they still have to survive in it. It does not take away from or demean their faith or integrity in any way. Perhaps you should remove the log from your own eye before you attempt to remove the sliver from someone else’s.
When you say your saw an Asian Amish driving a truck, are you certain he is Amish and not just judging that he is by the clothes he wears? There are several groups besides the Amish and Mennonites that dress plain. They each have varying degrees of what they allow and do not allow to be used such as cell phones, vehicles, etc. Just because they dress plain does not mean they are Amish or Mennonite.
Do you uphold true biblical principles? Judge not lest ye be judged!!
My son is Amish
My son joined the Amish at the age of 50 after retiring from public school teaching. He’ll soon be 59 and I’ll soon be 89. The lamp you’re seeing there is not a propane lamp. I’ve seen them in Amish homes before that I’ve visited. It’s an electric lamp. Inside the wooden cabinet under the lamp is a 12 volt battery.
My son, Mark, uses battery lamps out on his screened in porch during the summer. Shawn may be disappointed that they use battery lamps but burning propane lamps inside the house during the summer is WARM! Those lamps put out a lot of heat. Mark is out on his porch most evenings. He has LED lamps that he reads by. The porch stays cool and the house stays cooler, too, without those propane lamps burning.
Some might think he’s really advanced, too, because he has a small battery fan on his bedside stand. He says it helps him to sleep if on these warm summer evenins if he has a breeze blowing on his face.
Thanks for sharing this information. I had a feeling it would be battery operated. And I see nothing wrong with that. My goodness, I know how hot oil lamps can make a house as I use them a lot in the winter time. They can actually save quite a bit on the utility bill if you are on grid like I am.
Message for Don Curtis...........
Hi Don i noticed your post and thought id ask you something. Would your son be interested in telling his story in a post on why he joined the Amish, and id love to hear your thoughts on it as well. I’m not sure if he would be interested in telling his story but i thought it was worth a shot in asking. If the answer would be “no” i could respect that, and i thank you for hearing me out. Richard from www.Amishstorys.com
Well I think it is awesome! Infact I would like to have one myself. I could save
On electricity! And Don I really admire your son! And
Shawn, unless you are his bishop, I wouldn’t worry about what they are doing and not doing,…………. Lissa
Do you have an email address, phone number, street address for The Lighthouse in Holmes County?
The Lighthouse Ohio Amish solar and lighting shop-address
Hi George, here is the address and contact for The Lighthouse in Holmes County:
8216 Township Road 568
Fredericksburg, OH 44627-9409
It’s kind of tucked away on a back road on the northern side of the county, not too far from Holmesville.
The owner’s name is Jacob Raber. He and the shop were featured in a few news stories that got a good bit of attention a few years ago:
Squaring solar panels with the Amish tradition of forgoing the fancy is easy for Jake Raber, co-owner of The Lighthouse of Ohio Distribution in Fredericksburg.
“I am a Christian, and I am Amish. But being Amish is not a religion. It’s a way of life,” Raber said. “Being Amish means being independent.”
Raber and his wife, Betty, ordered $50,000 worth of solar panels last year from suppliers in Michigan and Japan and sold them all. Many of his customers are Amish families who don’t require the amounts of electricity their non-Amish neighbors use.
Jacob Raber is an Amishman who sells solar cells through his Lighthouse Distributors of Ohio Ltd. in Prairie Township in northern Holmes County. He said 10 percent to 30 percent of the Amish rely on solar power, although its use is frowned on by some of the conservative orders.
In most cases, Raber said, the Amish are using small solar units as a less costly means to recharge batteries, not to power entire houses.
Batteries have become a staple in Amish life, providing the electric power for lights and appliances. Many households have as many as 20 batteries for power.
But the batteries need to be recharged by gasoline-fueled generators, and that’s gotten more costly as gasoline prices have soared.
Two panels enough
For $600 to $800, the Amish can add minimal solar power to recharge the batteries for their homes and buggies. Most Amish add one or two panels — not the 20 to 60 panels it would take to hook up most American houses.
“With solar, you can charge your batteries for free after the initial investment,” Raber said.
Adding solar power and batteries also means the Amish do not have to rely on white gasoline (it doesn’t have lead and other additives) at $5 a gallon to fuel lanterns, he said.
And that has a health benefit, because it reduces gasoline fumes and carbon monoxide emissions in Amish houses, he said.
I think that lamp is a clever idea! Something like that would be nice to add to my arsenal of non-electric (or rather off-the-grid) lighting.
Thanks for the phone number, and address including other great information regarding The Lighthouse, and it’s owner. I appreciate it!
Very informative indeed!
We live in the 21st Century. Surely you don’t expect the Amish still to live the way they did in the 17th Century.
Times have changed, therefore many things change. personally, I do not like all changes, myself.
It’a way of our present lives.
The Amish do the best they can, trying tryng to uphold to their Amish life style.
They have to adjust to changes, eventhough they might not like it.
I do respect rheir life style.
There are times in our lives, that we have to see life through some elses eyes. Not always easy to do, no doubt.
I see the lockbox under the bed. Thought I was the only one who hides one there…lol
The combination of a storage table with a lamp stand is a very practical piece of furniture. I liked the post (Don’s?) explaining that it may be battery operated. I’m dreaming that behind the stand’s door there are shelves for storage. Very beautiful room.
I found the quilt on the bed very interesting — it came from a dollar-type store. The reason I know is that I have one exactly like it with the same fabric, in the same places, and that is where I got mine for $15 (twin size). Please understand, I certainly don’t fault them for using a store-bought quilt at all. I just didn’t expect to see one in an Amish house.
Electricity and Batteries
I cannot see any difference in the Amish using batteries or electricity. Both are modern conveniences, so why not just use the electricity. From any homes I’ve been in that are Amish, the lighting comes from candles or gaslight lamps.
I went to my cousin’s benefit auction & they sold lots & lots of batteries. They have to use them in their buggies for lights. They also used to think those red triangles on the back of their buggies were to fancy. The law stepped in on that one for safety.
Oh, the Amish at the supper table,
aren’t old fashioned.
Wow, they’re great people.