What Are Dumbwaiters Used For?

What Are Dumbwaiters Used For?

Having a new mechanical device in your home can be daunting at first. It’s a bit like suddenly getting the latest smartphone or laptop. You’ve heard about all the great features it has, and you might have friends who rave about theirs, but you’re not quite sure what to do with it once it’s staring you in the face.

If you’ve never had a dumbwaiter in your home before, you might be wondering how to use one. Fortunately, dumbwaiters are exceptionally versatile, giving you the freedom to transport many different items within your home or business. The guide below will explain how they work and discuss some common dumbwaiter uses.

What Is a Dumbwaiter?

A dumbwaiter is a miniature elevator, similar to a small freight elevator. It is quiet, safe and reliable, and it helps people move goods safely and easily from one floor to another.

A dumbwaiter uses electrical power to run along vertical tracks within a shaft built into one of the walls of your home or business. Every floor where the dumbwaiter will stop contains doors that will open to reveal the dumbwaiter’s interior. When the doors open, people can reach in to deposit or retrieve their items.

Where Did Dumbwaiters Come From?

Dumbwaiters have a long history. They existed as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. In those days, though, dumbwaiters were manual devices containing winches and pulleys. People had to pull on ropes to move the dumbwaiters and their loads up and down.

What were dumbwaiters used for back then? They were common in large households’ kitchens to move food and other items. In ancient Rome, the Colosseum used similar, massive lifts to transport gladiators and animals to the arena floor.

In 18th-century Europe, French households used dumbwaiters, colloquially known as “flying tables,” to provide refreshments for guests during dinner parties. Thomas Jefferson was one of the people who brought this idea back to the United States and popularized it here.

In the late 19th century, mechanical dumbwaiters began to replace manual ones in wealthy homes. These dumbwaiters used pulleys and weights instead of relying on human strength to function. And in the 1920s, as electrical use spread, dumbwaiters gained electrical motors to become more efficient and easier to control.

Modern dumbwaiters have advanced to become the sleek, safe electronic models popular in many homes and businesses. Even today, though, some older homes may still contain manual dumbwaiters that require the users to pull on ropes to move them.

What Are Dumbwaiters Used For?

What is a dumbwaiter used for in a home or business? Dumbwaiters make household chores effortless, and they reduce manual labor in commercial settings as well.

Residential Applications

Below are a few uses for a home dumbwaiter:

  • Doing laundry: Laundry is a household chore hardly anyone looks forward to. Carrying mountains of dirty clothes, towels or bedding down the stairs to the laundry room is tiring. And when the laundry is done, you have to lug it up all over again. With a dumbwaiter, though, the task becomes much simpler. Simply load your laundry into the dumbwaiter and send it down to the laundry room with the touch of a button.
  • Putting away groceries: If you have a large house, the groceries you buy may need to go into multiple rooms on multiple floors. Carrying heavy groceries up and down the stairs to the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, pantry or storage closets can wear you out, especially if you buy in bulk. Make this chore easier on yourself by packing your purchases into the dumbwaiter and sending them to the floor where they belong.
  • Moving: At the end of a move, you may find yourself standing on the ground floor of your new home, surrounded by a sea of boxes you need to unpack. Carrying those boxes up and down the stairs can leave you sweaty and fatigued. It could leave you with sore or strained muscles, or you could fall on the stairs and injure yourself. A dumbwaiter makes the process easier and safer. If your boxes or items fit, you can slide them into the dumbwaiter and send them to another floor.
  • Transporting cumbersome items: Sometimes you have bulky loads you need to move within your home. You might have a few cases of wine to send down to your wine cellar or some firewood to send to your fireplace. Or you might have stocked up on giant bags of dog food that need to go to the basement for storage. Using your dumbwaiter makes transporting these items simpler and faster.

Commercial Applications

Additionally, below are a few businesses that frequently use dumbwaiters:

  • Restaurants: Restaurants use dumbwaiters to move food, trays and kitchen supplies to different floors. A kitchen dumbwaiter lift reduces the amount of manual climbing and carrying labor that staff members must perform. It helps keep them more alert and refreshed, and it frees them to focus more of their time and energy on the customer experience.
  • Libraries: Books are notoriously heavy, as anyone who’s ever packed and moved cumbersome book boxes knows all too well. Carrying heavy stacks of books up and down the library stairs all day would be exhausting for staff members and could lead to repetitive stress injuries. Using a dumbwaiter alleviates these concerns.
  • Retail stores: Large retail stores that span multiple floors need a way to move inventory quickly and easily. Sending employees to perform this task can exhaust them. It also directs their focus away from the patrons counting on them for quality service. Using a dumbwaiter to move products from floor to floor makes employees more efficient, productive and helpful.
  • Hotels: Hotels often use dumbwaiters to move trays of food in their kitchens and restaurants. They may also have a dumbwaiter to transport luggage or use a laundry dumbwaiter for laundry and supplies.
  • Hospitals and retirement homes: Medical facilities often have kitchens that need to serve a large population with timely, efficient service. Dumbwaiters make the work of moving food trays and kitchen supplies more manageable.

Why Should You Get a Dumbwaiter?

Getting a dumbwaiter for your home or business is an excellent investment. It provides benefits like these:

  • Convenience: Using a dumbwaiter in your home or business makes work much quicker and easier. It saves you time and energy by moving bulky household or business goods with the press of a button.
  • Reliability: Residential and commercial dumbwaiters are highly dependable. If you invest in one of these impressive and practical machines, it will maintain its quality for years with a little maintenance. You can rely on it to help you perform numerous household or business tasks.
  • Safety: Dumbwaiters are incredibly safe to use. Many incorporate safety features such as safety locks, safety slack cables and lighting systems to help you avoid accidents. Dumbwaiters also promote physical safety by preventing you from tripping on stairs or straining your muscles. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every four older Americans falls every year. One out of every five falls causes a serious injury, like broken bones or head trauma. Using a dumbwaiter can keep you from becoming part of those statistics.

Contact Inclinator to Purchase a Convenient, Reliable Dumbwaiter

To see the benefits of installing a dumbwaiter in your home or business, contact Inclinator.

Our residential and commercial dumbwaiters are practical, elegant, safe and American-built. They lift heavy items with ease and bring a sleek, streamlined look to your home or business. And with nearly 100 years of experience in the industry, our company has the knowledge and expertise to help you find the perfect dumbwaiter for your needs.

Find a dealer near you today to check out different models, or contact us to learn more.


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