Netflix has finally dropped Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan’s new limited series The Watcher, and of course, it’s the show everyone’s watching. If you’ve at least watched the first episode, you’d know that a dumbwaiter is mentioned and shown in the series. We’ve got you covered if you’re curious about what a dumbwaiter is.
Spoilers from The Watcher ahead!
As the Brannock family looks around the 657 Boulevard property, Dean notices a man and a woman standing near a dumbwaiter in the house, but one of them is sticking their head in. When Dean approaches them, they introduce themselves and the woman tells Dean that she’s the president of the local Preservation Society. The woman continues and says that the dumbwaiter is a national treasure and that the house is lovely before walking away.
Later, the youngest Brannock finds the dumbwaiter in the house but thinks it’s an elevator. Dean walks over, explains to his son what a dumbwaiter is, and even shows him how it operates.
So, what exactly is a dumbwaiter and are they still used today? Here’s what we know.
The Watcher on Netflix: What is a dumbwaiter and are they still used today?
According to WiseGEEK, a dumbwaiter is a small freight elevator or lift used to carry food or goods from one floor to another. So, Carter Brannock wasn’t entirely wrong in thinking that a dumbwaiter was an elevator. It’s considered an elevator, but it’s just not intended for use by people.
Initially, dumbwaiters used a pulley system, but in the 1920s, electric motors were added. This made it easier to transport items between multiple floors. They’re still used in 2022. They can be found in restaurants, bars, older private homes, mansions, hotels, medical labs, offices, etc. Overall, dumbwaiters are still popular, even hundreds of years after people first began using them.
The Watcher is streaming now only on Netflix.