On December 6, give one appliance in the house a little consideration. It’s National Microwave Day!
Quite by accident, self- taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered a way to heat food safely with microwaves. While working with an active radar in 1945, he noticed a candy bar in his pocket was melting. The high-powered microwave beams created a heating effect ideal for cooking. Spencer deliberately attempted cooking popcorn with the microwaves and an egg was next. The egg was less successful than the popcorn. It exploded in his fellow engineer’s face!
Spencer, employed by Raytheon, experimented with different methods of heating food safely with microwaves.
- Raytheon filed a United States patent application for Spencer’s microwave cooking process on October 8, 1945.
- Raytheon built the first commercially available microwave oven in 1947. It was called the “Radarange.”
- It is believed that 90% of homes in the United States have a microwave in them.
- Radar technology developed during the WWII is what lead to the invention of the microwave.
- One of the first microwaves to be installed just so happened to be on the first nuclear-powered merchant ship, the NS Savannah, which is where it still resides today.
- The home microwave was created in 1955 for the price of $1,295, which would be about $12,000 in 2017.