Lazy Susan: What Exactly Are They?

by interior designer

in Dining Room

A Lazy Susan is a fascinatingly simple little invention which allows for more access to food or wine when sitting around a table. The Lazy Susan is not some slovenly maid but a turntable which sits atop a dining table and usually moves in a circular motion. Most of the turntables are round and can simply be pushed or pulled around depending on the person carrying out the action.

what-is-a-lazy-susanThe Lazy Susan itself always remains in one position on the table but allows the food presented on plates or bowls to be reached from most, if not all, seated diners. This means the food dishes rarely have to be lifted up and passed from person to person. Of course, if the table is large and long, then the benefits of a Lazy Susan diminish. For most family sized tables however, it is ideal. The device is also perfectly suitable for holding wine bottles and fruit.

Quite where the term “Lazy Susan” originates, is a mystery. What is known however, that the first use of the name came in 1917, in the popular culture magazine Vanity Fair. An advertisement in said magazine of the table top device had the title “Revolving Server or Lazy Susan”.

During the 16th Century in the new lands of North America, servants were often given the name Susan. This leads many to believe this is where the name “Lazy Susan” is derived from. Other language experts claim the term comes from the daughter of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. It’s said that Jefferson invented the rotating food server because his young daughter complained that she was always served last at dinner. Her protestations of hunger, led to her father’s invention.

The Lazy Susan can come in a variety of materials ranging from glass and plastic through to wood and metal. Many are highly decorative whilst others are very simple. A nice one I can recommend is this birch wood and charcoal Lazy Susan.

For wines and spirits, this attractive Bago Luma Lazy Susan (as seen pictured above) would look great on a dining table for after dinner conversations and dinner mints.

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