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Thursday, April 2, 2009

No Dumb Waiters Here !!!

Sir Charlie Chaplin in a dumbwaiter.

Dumbwaiters, an incredible help and you can still get them installed in home today.
I have played in them as a child, like Charlie Chaplin in the 1st picture.
Did you know that Thomas Jefferson is said to have invented the dumbwaiter. There are 2 forms of a dumbwaiter, one is a table with tiers. The other is the very small elevator type built into a homes wall that has a vertical shaft, the dumbwaiter is raised and lowered ( manually) by ropes and pulleys.
After 1920, motors were added.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.
This is a wine dumbwaiter that was used to transport his wine from the cellar to the dining room at Thomas Jefferson's 'Monticello'.

"When he had any persons dining with him, with whom he wished to enjoy a free and unrestricted flow of conversation, the number of persons at table never exceed four, and by each individual was placed a dumb-waiter, containing everything necessary for the progress of the dinner from beginning to end, so as to make the attendance of servants entirely unnecessary, believing as he did, that much of the domestic and even public discord was produced by the mutilated and misconstructed repetition of free conversation at dinner tables, by these mute but not inattentive listeners. "
More dumbwaiters.
This is a picture from ' The Octagon House'. ( see arrow)
I don't understand why with all these 'Mc Mansions' that have been built do not have dumbwaiters. They are certainly available.
Especially in homes with a long walk to the laundry room . If your laundry room is off your kitchen. this would be great, you could use it for food, laundry .........anything.
Heck, you could just ride in it . Just think of the possibilities !!!
Would you like your very own dumbwaiter ?

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her BLOG.....dumbwaiters, dumbwaiters,dumbwaiters


  1. I loved this post, Renee! Before we bought WM, we looked at a big old house in the country that had a dumb waiter. I find them rather frightening. Who knows what might be lurking when you open the door! ;^)

  2. yes......they can be spooky !!


  3. I like the name...dumbwaiter. We've had laundry "slots" before...where you throw it in the vent and it goes down to the laundry room...but never a true dumbwaiter.

    And yes...That is my daughter riding...and standing.

  4. linda,

    your daughter looks great ....
    i remember that exercise !!


  5. Oh- I love the idea of one for the laundry. Now if I could figure out a way to have it all loaded so I would never have to go down to the basement.... I think I'm the 'dumb-waiter'...

  6. I agree, they are great devices and have also heard that jefferson invented them. However, I think most homes don't need them anymore as the kitchen is always adjacent to dining rooms. Now that people don't have servants the use for them has diminished. At work here though we put in small sized elevators in most homes (which seems silly but they're useful!). Lately a lot of clients have been requesting laundry chutes too -i'm a big fan of the laundry chute!

  7. Such a great idea, I am surprised that they haven't been incorporated more!

  8. In Colorado, with many homes having multi-level with the garage often on the lowest level, a dumbwaiter is quite handy for getting groceries from the car to the kitchen.

    I have seen dumbwaiters that go from the kitchen area to the basement where the playroom and/or media room is located. An easy way to send pizza, popcorn, or other food and beverages from one level to another. Definitely helps to get dishes and glasses from the lower level to the kitchen after having friends over.

  9. Oh yes, I would love one! But only if I could fit inside as I would have loved to have done as a child!! Oh and I could put Edward inside when he came in the house with muddy paws....just haul him up to the bath!!

  10. Anonymous15:23

    I LOVE that little tidbit about Thomas Jefferson. Such a terrific piece of trivia!

  11. so interesting. I love little nooks and cranny's ...especially sneaky ones.

  12. What a fabulous post Renee! I love it :) I need one of those baby's for my laundry room!

  13. Great post,Renee! You have a very good point - why don't more people have these? Thanks for the sweet comment today.

  14. Fabulous post Renee! Although with our 5 sons, I'm sure a dumb waiter at our house would have been used more for 'transporting' brothers than food & wine!
    Millie ^_^

  15. Great post Miss R! Loved the picture of Monticello...gorgeous.
    Blessings Girl...

  16. OMG,
    these are the most comments i have ever received.

    i am feeling ' THE LOVE '.

    NO !... it is I ,

    who love YOU for commenting !!

    thank you , thank you

  17. Love the dumbwaiters! Some people we know put them in their new home when they built it and an elevator too!
    How fun as a kid to play in them!

  18. I think I am my very own dumb waiter (maybe waitress)! Have a wonderful weekend Renee, xv.

  19. I think I am my very own dumb waiter (maybe waitress)! Have a wonderful weekend Renee, xv.

  20. I think I am my very own dumb waiter (maybe waitress)! Have a wonderful weekend Renee, xv.



Thanks for participating!!

About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



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