ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dumbwaiters and their Uses

Updated on April 19, 2009

The stairs can be a very dangerous place in a home and falls on the stairs is the leading cause of accidental death among the elderly. Falls occur on the stairs everyday and are sometimes caused by attempting to carry items up and down the stairs. This is one reason that dumbwaiters, which make moving objects between floors much easier, can actually help increase staircase safety.

What is a Dumbwaiter?

The dumbwaiter is actually a very old type of lifting aid, whose usage can be traced back thousands of years. Often early dumbwaiters were nothing more than a platform with a rope attached to it, which was used to hoist items to a higher elevation. However, even in early times there were more advanced dumbwaiters available that made use of alternative lifting systems, such as hydraulic and animal power.

The electric dumbwaiter would not be developed until the nineteenth century and quickly became popular in boats, manufacturing plants, and large buildings. The manual dumbwaiter, however, would continue to be the most popular type of residential dumbwaiter for many years to come.

Even though manual dumbwaiters were hoisted using human power, they use technology to help make the lifting easier and safer. From almost the time the first manual dumbwaiter was used, pulley systems were used to reduce the amount of effort that was required to lift the device. Often geared handles were also used, which were easier to turn. Beginning in the nineteenth century, a safer type of dumbwaiter was developed that included safety stops, so you could let go of the dumbwaiter rope, without the dumbwaiter falling. This meant that if the rope slipped or one became tired while raising the dumbwaiter car, there was no worry that the dumbwaiter might fall.

Elisha Otis is thought of as the father of the dumbwaiter
Elisha Otis is thought of as the father of the dumbwaiter

The Development of a Safer Dumbwaiter

It was during the nineteenth century that Elisha Otis, the father of the elevator, would develop a safety system that prevented the dumbwaiter car from falling in the event of a rope failure. This would later lead him to develop the worlds first safety elevator, which was used to transport humans.

Otis developed the safety dumbwaiter while he was overseeing the construction of a manufacturing plant, which used dumbwaiters to transport goods between floors. If the rope on the dumbwaiter broke, it would fall potentially hurting the workers and ruining the building supplies. So, Otis set out to change this and developed a special braking system

Prior to Otis's development, elevators were seldom used, due to the dangers they presented. Otis's invention allowed the elevator cable to be cut, without the elevator car falling. Today, the Otis elevator remains one of the most popular brands of commercial elevator.

Dumbwaiters Today

Today, the dumbwaiter remains very popular for use in commercial and residential settings. Most home users opt to go with an electric dumbwaiter, which is available custom made or in a dumbwaiter kit. The dumbwaiter kit is simpler to install, especially into preexisting structures, but only comes in a few set sizes. The custom dumbwaiter is sometimes more expensive than a dumbwaiter kit, but is much more versatile. Manual dumbwaiters also remain popular, with some homeowners building their own.

Using a dumbwaiter can make housework much easier and safer, because it is no longer necessary to carry items between floors. These devices are also very important in the manufacturing industry.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • brad4l profile imageAUTHOR

    brad4l 

    7 years ago from USA

    Marcia, once you have an idea of what type of dumbwaiter will work for you, such as installing a do-it-yourself dumbwaiter kit or going with a custom built dumbwaiter, you can start looking for vendors in your area. Generally, if you are going for a self installed residential dumbwaiter, you can find several national manufactures that can ship to your area. If, however, you want a custom built dumbwaiter, you may want to check with your local medical supply store and see if they know of any local companies that install dumbwaiters.

  • profile image

    Marcia 

    8 years ago

    Where do I find a manual dumbwaiter to purchase

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)