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Six days a week, he is driven from the Lancaster area to Philadelphia.“Philadelphia is very fast-paced,” he said. Kraybill, a retired professor at Elizabethtown’s Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.
This “very entrepreneurial, very capitalistic” tendency, he said, was all the more remarkable because it was channeled through a “culture of restraint.”Still, the divisions can get fuzzy.
Moses Smucker, for example, opened a food store and sandwich shop at Philadelphia’s popular Reading Terminal Market. It takes credit cards, and has four and a half stars on Yelp. People are starting to understand that.”There are probably 2,000 successful Amish businesses in the Lancaster area, many of them multimillion-dollar enterprises, said Donald B.Not far away, a man in his late 60s with a silvery beard, wide-brimmed straw hat and suspenders adjusted the settings on a computer-driven crosscut saw.He was soon cutting pieces for gazebos that are sold online and delivered around the country.But computers and cellphones are making their way into some Amish communities, pushing them — sometimes willingly, often not — into the 21st century.New technology has created fresh opportunities for prosperity among the Amish, just as it has for people in the rest of the world. A store owner’s software can make quick work of payroll and inventory tasks. But for people bound by a separation from much of the outside world, new tech devices have brought fears about the consequence of internet access.
John and his wife, Lizzie, were there, along with Junior, his wife, their four daughters, and a son who had been born at home just five days before. John had his worries about where technology was taking the Amish community.“We’re not supposed to have computers; we’re not supposed to have cellphones,” he said.