(WYTV) – Who is Susan, and why is she lazy?

A lazy Susan is a round tray that holds food and sits on your countertop or table. it rotates so people around it can grab what they want without having to pass food around the table.

It’s unclear where the name lazy Susan came from.

The Smithsonian tells us the first revolving tray goes back to 13th century China.

Some historians credit Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Edison with inventing it. Both had daughters named Susan. Jefferson’s daughter complained she was always the last to be served, so dad built the revolving tray for his lazy Susan.

It’s just a legend, though.

In 1891, Elizabeth Howell of Missouri won a patent for a rotating table. It didn’t have a name.

Then, the “Boston Journal” newspaper in 1903 carried a story about a lazy Susan tray.

The December 1917 issue of “Vanity Fair” magazine had a Christmas ad for a “Revolving Server or Lazy Susan.” There’s the name again.

They can be valuable. An antique went for $3,000 at Christie’s auction house.