Finding a way to make work easier is something that humankind has consistently excelled at. From the invention of the wheel and pulley to the first steam engine, there are many thousands of inventions that have been developed to make it easier to perform work. One of the most common tasks that inventors have set out to make easier is that of lifting heavy objects and dumbwaiters are one of the oldest lifting aids, dating back many thousands of years.
A dumbwaiter is a freight elevator, which is designed to move goods quickly between floors. In the early days, dumbwaiters often just consisted of a rope that was tied to a piece of wood. Objects could be placed on the wood and then hoisted between floors using the rope. They were incredibly popular in medieval times, with all castles having some dumb waiter installed. Water power and animal power were also used during this time, to eliminate the need for human lifting effort.
Is simply an elevator intended for some small freight rather than for people, animals, or large items? Most of these dumbwaiters run between two floors; however, they can be installed to service multiple stories. The simplest product is a mobile frame suspended by a rope and pulley system within a shaft. This frame is usually guided through the shaft by rails. Initially, the pulley system was manually operated. Since the invention of motor engines, electric motors now power them.
Some more complicated versions of dumbwaiter lifts have buttons to control the movement of the lift through the shaft. There is also a mechanism that inhibits the door from opening until the lift comes to a stop. Some are even fireproofed. These modern advancements have made the application of lifts in other industries more practical.
The most common application of dumbwaiter lifts is in restaurants to cart food from the kitchen to the dining area should these be on different floors. Now, public institutions like libraries and post offices are also using dumbwaiters to transport large quantities of material such as books, letters, and packages between floors. In large corporate office towers with multistory operations, dumbwaiters can be used to lift for some purposes, thereby making inter-floor transport far simpler than before.
There are also some private applications of them beyond the kitchen. For example, it can be used as a type of laundry chute. However, a chute only allows laundry to be thrown from upper floors to the final destination. A dumbwaiter lift would allow clothing to be transported either upward or downward as needed. Additionally, after cleaning, the clothes can be sent back up to their origin, or down in a controlled fashion. It is also a neat feature in the home for transporting small amounts of freight between floors.
Dumbwaiter lifts are certainly an asset to any public building or private residence. It dramatically increases the convenience of inter-storey transport. While it may seem that there are more commercial applications than private uses for dumbwaiter lifts, there are certainly many opportunities to use them in the home.
Utilising Dumbwaiters to Help Around the Home
There are many people who today use a dumbwaiter in their home to make it easier to take care of housework. In a multi-story home, it can be tough to move items between floors. Everything from food to firewood can often need to be brought throughout the home, but carrying these things up the stairs can be difficult. For those who are mobility challenged, it might simply not be possible to move these things.
Unlike a regular elevator, however, these devices are not intended to be used for people, though. Instead, if you need to transport a person up the stairs, you would need to invest in a personal elevator. For everything else, a dumbwaiter will perform more than admirably.
Most new dumbwaiters that are installed in homes are powered by electricity. A strong electric motor is used effortlessly to lift the device and its load between floors. Today, these electric lifts are more accessible, but this has not always been the case.
Manual lifts had been very popular for hundreds of years. These lifts were easy to install and could be placed almost anywhere, but they will require the owner to lift the load between floors physically. Even if the lift uses a set of pulleys to reduce the effort it takes to raise it, it can still be quite strenuous to use.
This is one of the main reasons that an electric lift is much more attractive. It can support much more weight much more efficiently. They also include safety features to help ensure the device can be used safely. Sensors are built into detect objects in the shaft that might disrupt the device. They are also designed so that the door can not be opened if the lift is not present.
Installing these lifts is usually easier if it is done as the home is being constructed. They are also often installed after a home has been built. The primary concern is finding a distance between floors that can be used as the dumbwaiter shaft. The shaft needs to be completely straight, and it needs to have an opening that can be accessed on each floor. If you can not find an area for the shaft, you can often use the space in a closet. The lift can also be configured, so the door opens on different sides on each floor.
Once you have an area that will work on the shaft, it is a matter of installing the track, drive system, wiring, and dumbwaiter car. The reason a track is used is that it can keep the lift more stable and balanced.
Many lifts come to a great part already assembled. This makes it a lot easier to install. Usually, with these kits, the drive system, and car are installed together so that they can be installed all at once. By cutting out these steps, the lifts can be put into a home much more rapidly and in a more reliable manner.