The United State’s Amish, or Pennsylvania Dutch, community has long been the interest of curious Americans who wonder how people can live in such antiquated ways. They’re also beloved in some ways for the products they make, usually from oak, cherry, hickory, walnut, or maple wood.
In addition to the high-quality furniture, which is 100% hand-crafted, and wooden sheds, which generally last between 15 and 20 years, the Amish make a plethora of other things, such as gazebos, pergolas, and of course the classic Amish barns. In celebration of the Amish tradition here are three important aspects that helped turn their simple way of life into a booming economy.
1.) 1920s: The 1920s are generally accepted as the time period when Amish furniture and craftsmanship was first recognized by dealers and historians who began putting higher price tags on the early American folk art pieces that had great beauty and quality. From then on furniture and products made in this tradition became increasingly sought after.
2.) Mission Vs. Shaker: There are many different styles in which Amish furniture can be made, but two of the most popular are Mission and Shaker. Usually Mission style is defined by its straight lines and exposed joinery. It’s considered a more modern design than Shaker. Shaker style Amish furniture is plain and simple, yet elegant in nature. It’s designed primarily for functionality and durability.
3.) The Queen Anne: The Queen Anne style is different from Mission and Shaker in that it’s considered very traditional. Ornate moldings, unique foot details, and carved ornamentation adorn the Amish furniture made in this style.
There are many other styles available, including Southwestern, Rustic, Cottage, and Beachfront, but it’s safe to say the longevity and success this niche industry has had for 100 plus years stems more from the intricate and common process these styles share in making them. Not only are they aesthetically appealing to look at, but it’s their durable nature that make them especially valuable.