1919 Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan on a table
Source: Household Engineering: Scientific Management in the Home by Mrs. Christine Frederick (1919)

I associate Lazy Susan revolving servers with Chinese restaurants, but they actually have been used in other settings for at least a hundred years. Here’s what a 1919 home economics textbook said:

The so-called “Lazy Susan” or servette finds favor with the homemaker who is her own maid. This is a revolving circular wooden or glass disk, supported on a stand placed in the center of the table. Food laid on the disk may be revolved to each person in turn, thus saving “passing,” or frequent rising. It also saves space on the the table by giving a place to bread and butter, sauces, condiments and other small dishes.

Household Engineering: Scientific Management in the Home by Mrs. Christine Frederick (1919)

34 thoughts on “1919 Lazy Susan

  1. I think I remember Tupperware having a lazy susan I had one years ago…many restaurants still have that revolving middle here …There are many cookery pots, pans and servers which have stood the test of time isn’t there?

    1. It’s amazing how many kitchen tools, gadgets, pans and dishes have stood the test of time – though based on what I’ve seen in old magazines, there are also some that haven’t stood the test of time and have long vanished.

  2. I must live in the wrong section of the country. I’ve never seen a Lazy Susan in a Chinese restaurant. We used a small one on the table to hold salt, pepper, and napkins, but it was needed more in a corner cabinet.

  3. Never used a lazy Susan for serving food, they are nice in a corner cabinet . Come to think of it that would be a great way to serve taco salad with all its fixings.

    1. I like your suggestion about using a Lazy Susan to serve taco salad. Whenever I serve tacos, I end up using all my cereal bowls to hold the various components, and it doesn’t really make a very good presentation.

  4. Who doesn’t love a Lazy Susan? I have a small one in my pantry, but I think I’ll keep an eye out for a table-top version at yard sales. (I wonder who gave it that name? A man, or a very ironic, busy homemaker?)

    1. There was a lot of interest in the scientific management of factories and homes in the early 1900’s. The basic idea was that the work of men should be organized based on scientific principles, and similarly that women should use scientific principles when managing their homes.

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