Are Dumb Waiters Really That Dumb?

One of our favorite mobility devices in the Western Stairlifts showroom is the humble Dumb Waiter, but don’t let the name fool you; dumb waiters are actually quite smart!

The history of dumb waiters

Dumb waiters have been around in various shapes and sizes for thousands of years and their history is really quite interesting. Early models were manual and involved a system of ropes and pulleys to transport items between floors. These useful devices were initially powered by humans, but as they evolved, later models could be operated by using animals, water and, finally, electricity.

Today’s dumb waiters are used in homes all over the country and for good reason. If you or a loved one have any issues with mobility, a dumb waiter is an ideal device to fit into your own home – you can transport your belongings to and from the ground floor in an instant, reducing the chance that you may take a tumble. Plus, your dumb waiter is a huge help when it comes to getting things done around the house!

Where’s the dumb in a dumb waiter

It’s easy to see why people love dumb waiters, but how did they get their name and do they really deserve it? Much to people’s surprise, the dumb in dumb waiter refers to their quiet, unobtrusive presence in dining rooms, not their smarts. Over the years, these household helpers have been adapted to meet the demands of some people you might be quite familiar with!

Thomas Jefferson’s dumb waiter tinkerings

Thomas Jefferson was a huge fan of convenience and adapted or even invented some notable inventions. One of them was the humble dumb waiter. Jefferson altered the design of his dumb waiters to enable the transportation of wine from his cellar directly into his dining room. The reason? Well, according to folklore, Jefferson wanted to limit the number of waiting staff present in the dining room when he was entertaining, because:

“much of the domestic and even public discord was produced by the mutilated and misconstructed repetition of free conversation at dinner tables, by these mute but not inattentive listeners.”

Whatever your motivation for installing a dumb waiter in your home, we guarantee that it will be a welcome addition that will make your life easier. At Western Stairifts, we carry the Harmar range of dumb waiters. Contact us today to find out more on 801-386-2408 or pop into the Western Stairlifts showroom.

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