PFlow Industries, Inc.
Since 1977, PFlow has been solely devoted to the design and manufacturer of vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRC’s) material handling equipment, systems, and specials. As the VRC pioneer, PFlow has led the industry from the start.
6720 N. Teutonia Avenue Milwaukee, WI, 53209 USA
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Do you know your dumbwaiter history? Unless you work in the mechanical or package lifts industry, you probably don’t.

It may seem surprising, but there are lots of interesting things to learn about the dumbwaiter elevator. But, before we talk history, it’s helpful to understand what a dumbwaiter is first.

What Is a Dumbwaiter?

inside of a dumbwaiter shaftLet’s get the most obvious question out of the way first: What is a dumbwaiter?

It’s easier if you think of a dumbwaiter as a kind of miniature elevator. It’s far too small for a person to fit inside, however.

Instead, it’s used to lift food up from lower-level kitchens to a restaurant above. It also helps waiters to get those dirty dishes out of the restaurant and back down to the kitchen below.

This way, staff aren’t running up and down stairs with their hands full of dishes. In addition to dishes, dumbwaiters can also carry small goods, ingredients, and much more.

Dumbwaiter Origin

So, how did dumbwaiters come about in the first place? Historically, a dumbwaiter was used by servants and household staff for bringing food up from the servants’ quarters to the main house.

This meant that the wealthy owners of the home weren’t bothered by noise from the kitchen. In addition, it made serving and transporting (and cleaning up after) larger meals much easier for everyone.

The term “dumbwaiter” was coined because the idea behind this small lift was to give wealthy homeowners a server that wouldn’t be seen or heard. In addition, that “dumb waiter” couldn’t speak to them.

Other Uses for a Dumbwaiter

Unfortunately, today most of us don’t live in homes where we have staff catering to our every need. But that doesn’t mean that dumbwaiters are no longer useful. Dumbwaiters are used today in:

  • Banks for carrying gold and other valuables from one place to another.
  • Hospitals for making sure food and medication can quickly reach patients.
  • Stores for bringing up goods from the warehouse.
  • Breweries for bringing up kegs from the cellar.

In short, whatever you need lifted, a dumbwaiter can help you.

Wish You Had Your Own Dumbwaiter Elevator?

Now that you know what is a dumbwaiter, you may want one for yourself. Who wouldn’t? They’re handy and easy to operate. Well, we can help you with that.

First, spend some time on our website to learn more about the kinds of packing, lifting, and loading equipment we have to offer you. Then, reach out to us if you have any questions on which of our products can help meet your material lifting needs.