Why Is It Called A Dumbwaiter?

We’ve all heard of a dumbwaiter, but have we ever stopped to think why this is called what it is? After all, it’s anything but dumb—the dumbwaiter is a convenient and time saving appliance that can transport meals or other items to different levels of a house or commercial building.

From its rather mysterious name, to its long and fascinating history, there’s a lot to learn about this little-known piece of machinery. In this article, we will explore why the dumbwaiter is actually called a dumbwaiter, delving into its infrastructure and attempting to understand the cultural and historical forces that led to its development. Read on to discover the story behind why this indispensable item is so aptly named…

What Is A Dumbwaiter?

A dumbwaiter is a small elevator, similar to a lift, used to move objects between floors. It is mainly used in restaurants, offices, hotels, and other commercial buildings, but can be found in some homes as well.

It is important to note that a dumbwaiter is not a person; it is a robotic device used to transport items.

Why Is It Called A Dumbwaiter?

The term “dumbwaiter” is derived from the French word ‘dumont’ which translates to mean “to carry one’s own table. ” In the 1700s, servants would move food and dishes around by pushing or carrying an elevated tray known as a “dumbwaiter. ” Over time, the word dumbwaiter mutated and the device came to be known as a dumbwaiter.

Advantages of Using A Dumbwaiter

  • Safety: A dumbwaiter helps to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries from lifting, carrying and dropping heavy items up and down the stairs.
  • Efficiency: Moving objects via a dumbwaiter is much quicker than using the stairs or elevator.

  • Convenience: Items can be easily moved between floors without having to physically carry them up or down the stairs or elevator.
  • Flexibility: A dumbwaiter can be designed to suit any space, making it an effective and customizable device.

Disadvantages of Using A Dumbwaiter

  • Maintenance: The components of a dumbwaiter may require frequent maintenance or repair.

  • Cost: Installing a dumbwaiter can be costly and requires a qualified technician.
  • Noise: Dumbwaiters are noisy and can disrupt the surrounding environment.


A dumbwaiter is a useful device for transporting items between floors quickly and efficiently. They are mainly used in commercial buildings, but can also be found in many homes. The word “dumbwaiter” is derived from the French word “dumont,” which translates to mean “to carry one’s own table. ” Although there are some advantages to using a dumbwaiter, there are also some drawbacks. It is important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding to install one in your home or business. Citation URLshttps://www. ofts. ca/dumbwaiters/https://www. homeadvisor. com/r/dumbwaiter-installation/https://www. thespruce. com/using-dumbwaiter-4135258

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