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‘The Watcher’ on Netflix: What is a Dumbwaiter, and Are They Still Used Today?

The Watcher, The Watcher plot, The Watcher cast, The Watcher house
Image Credit: Netflix

Netflix has finally dropped Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan’s new limited series ‘The Watcher,’ 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!

Dean Brannock and his family are looking around the house when he notices a man and woman near a dumbwaiter. One of them sticks their head in it. Dean goes over to them, introducing himself. The woman turns out to be the president of the local Preservation Society, and they discuss the dumbwaiter. She tells him that it’s a national treasure before walking away.

Later, the youngest Brannock finds the dumbwaiter in the house but thinks it’s an elevator. Dean explains to his son what a dumbwaiter is before showing 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?

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, older private homes, bars, medical labs, mansions, hotels, offices, etc. Dumbwaiters are still popular, even hundreds of years after people first began using them.

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