Early Commercial Dumbwaiters

Dumbwaiter have roots that date back many thousands of years. The earliest record of a dumbwaiter is in 236 BC during the Roman age. Since then, they have been used extensively to allow objects to be easily and quickly moved throughout a multi-story dwelling.

Dumbwaiters became very popular during the nineteenth century and it was during this time that the first electric dumbwaiter was developed. Up until this time, dumbwaiters had been powered through the use of animal power, human power, or water power. It was also during the nineteenth century that several safety innovations occurred that allowed dumbwaiters to reliably move between floors.

Even thought the first electric dumbwaiter was developed in the nineteenth century, electric dumbwaiters would not become popular in residential settings for many years. The electric dumbwaiter was instead almost exclusively used in commercial settings. These dumbwaiters lacked many of the advancements that are available today.

They were generally controlled in one location by a dumbwaiter attendee. When someone pushed a button, a light would turn on at the dumbwaiter attendees station. It would then be the job of the attendee to prioritize where the elevator needed to go next.

This early dumbwaiters were incredibly popular in factories and department stores, but they could be found in many other types of businesses. They have a very deep root in the transportation industry as well. They were first used in carriage factories and with the advent of the automobile, they began very popular in automobile plants as well.

While the electric dumbwaiter was extensively used in businesses beginning in the nineteenth century, the manual dumbwaiter remained popular in residential settings. Almost any home that spanned multiple floors had a dumbwaiter and they were also extensively used in apartment buildings. Due to an increasing number of thefts as items were lifted up the dumbwaiter, special locking doors were eventually installed on apartment building dumbwaiters.

Today, the electric dumbwaiter is still extensively used in the manufacturing industry and other commercial settings. They can be found in restaurants, hospitals, and in many large ships. These dumbwaiters are designed to quickly and efficiently carry goods between floors and many are able to support well over a thousand pounds. Commercial dumbwaiters are often custom built and the car usually is of steel construction. Depending on the needs of the business, these lifts can be built to include things like on board shelf systems, which help improve the way the space of the dumbwaiter car is used.

Today dumbwaiters are more popular than ever and because they often have less strict building codes requirements, they are in many cases preferable to a traditional elevator.

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