Information - history
The history of the Lazy Susan
Maybe because we see these turntables, due to the nature of Chinese cuisine, mainly at chinese restaurants, we almost instantly assume that there lays its origin. But, it isnt. The Lazy Susan, formerly known as "dumb waiter" originates from England and is dated back to the 18th century.
The device was called 'dumb' because it did its job in perfect silence.
The early form known dates from 1720 and 1730. Probably in reference to the wheeled serving trays or etageres. In the late 18th century, the name dumb waiter also began to be applied to rotating trays. Mostly one legged tables that had a rotating table top, used at wine- and teetasting events.
Several investigations do describe the invention to either Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Edison.
A team of investigators from wiseGEEK.com believes that Thomas Jefferson invented the Lazy Susan in the 18th century because his daughter always complained she got served as last. Others do say it was Thomas Edison that invented the turntable for his phonograph and that this later on evolved into the Lazy Susan. Fact is however that Thomas Edison realy did have a daughter named Susan.
There are andoubtatly more stories that can be found about the origins that might be pure fiction or even tell a part of the real story. More common is the explanation that the name Susan was chosen because back then, most maids were named Susan.
What ever it may be, the Lazy Susan is back and enjoys more and more fame. Not just because of its functionality, but most certanly also due to the wide variety of materials and designs they are available in.