Forms: Also turn-table
1. On a railway: A revolving platform turning on a central pivot, laid with rails connecting with adjacent tracks, for turning railway vehicles; a turn-plate.
1835 Massachusetts Stat. 4 Apr. To unite any rail-road or rail-roads..by turn-tables or otherwise.
1838 N. Wood Pract. Treat. Railroads (ed. 3) 186 On each of these lines..circular turn~tables are placed, upon which the carriages are run.
1854 John Bull 2 Sept. 558/2 An engine having been accidentally put in motion while on the turn table, ran over a side wall, and rested on end in the street below.
2. A revolving platform, table, stand, or disk of various kinds: see quots.; spec. (a) a rotating disk on which microscope slides are held for tracing the circular cement cells in which specimens are placed for examination; (b) see quot. 1889; (c) a turning device allowing a photographic camera to rotate on the stand or tripod; (d) a rotating plate-glass show stand used in shop-windows ( Funk's Stand. Dict. 1895); (e) the rotating plate on which a gramophone record is placed to be played; the unit housing this plate.
1865 Morning Star 2 Sept. The burial board..determined on placing a stand, or what is called a ‘turn-table’, in the church, and also one in the chapel [for use at funerals].
1867 J. Hogg Microscope (ed. 6) i. iii. 254 The little box contains:—Shadbolts turn-table, brass table [etc.].