A brief history of the microwave oven

Table of Content

A Brief History of the Microwave Oven

Like many of today ‘s great innovations, the microwave oven was a byproduct of another engineering. It was during a radar-related research undertaking around 1946 that Dr. Percy Spencer, a self-taught applied scientist with the Raytheon Corporation, noticed something really unusual. He was proving a new vacuity tubing called a magnetron ( we are seeking for a image of an existent 1946 magnetron ) , when he discovered that the confect saloon in his pocket had melted. This intrigued Dr. Spencer, so he tried another experiment. This clip he placed some popcorn meats near the tubing and, possibly standing a small farther off, he watched with an imaginative twinkle in his oculus as the Zea mays everta sputtered, cracked and popped all over his lab.

The following forenoon, Scientist Spencer decided to set the magnetron tubing near an egg. Spencer was joined by a funny co-worker, and they both watched as the egg began to quake and quiver. The rapid temperature rise within the egg was doing enormous internal force per unit area. Obviously the funny co-worker moved in for a closer expression merely as the egg exploded and splattered hot yolk all over his astonied face. The face of Spencer lit up with a logical scientific decision: the liquid confect saloon, the Zea mays everta, and now the exploding egg, were all attributable to exposure to low-density microwave energy. Therefore, if an egg can be cooked that rapidly, why non other nutrients? Experimentation began…

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

Dr. Spencer fashioned a metal box with an gap into which he fed microwave power. The energy come ining the box was unable to get away, thereby making a higher denseness electromagnetic field. When nutrient was placed in the box and micro-cook energy Federal in, the temperature of the nutrient rose really quickly. Dr. Spencer had invented what was to revolutionise cookery, and organize the footing of a multimillion dollar industry, the microwave oven.

A Bit of Trivia: The “ Speedie Weenie ” Undertaking

In the spring of 1946, Percy Spencer and an associate, P.R. Hanson ( Roly Hanson ) , were working on a secret undertaking they called “ the Speedy Weenie ” . Muriel Withrow remembers the undertaking good. She recalls, “ The ‘Speedy Weenie ‘ Undertaking was the nickname Mr. Spencer and my foreman, Roly Hanson, gave to their secret undertaking, the microwave [ oven ] ” “ ‘Speedie Weenie ‘ significance ‘a speedy hot Canis familiaris! ‘ ” ( Our thanks to Mrs. Withrow for sharing this small known item )

Click HERE: 1958 Issue of Readers Digest article about Dr. Percy SpencerClick HERE: Wikiverse – A World of Knowledge. Article about Percy Spencer with extra links.

About 6 Feet Tall, Weighing 750 Pounds

Engineers went to work on Spencer ‘s hot new thought, developing and polishing it for practical usage. By late 1946, the Raytheon Company had filed a patent suggesting that microwaves be used to cook nutrient. An oven that heated nutrient utilizing micro-cook energy was so placed in a Boston eating house for proving. At last, in 1947, the first commercial microwave oven hit the market. These crude units where mammoth and tremendously expensive, standing 5 1/2 pess tall, weighing over 750 lbs, and bing about $ 5000 each. The magnetron tubing had to be water-cooled, so plumbing installings were besides required.

Initial Chemical reactions Were Unfavorable

Not surprisingly, many were extremely loath about these first units, and so they found merely limited credence. Initial gross revenues were dissatisfactory… but non for long. Further betterments and polishs shortly produced a more dependable and lightweight oven that was non merely less expensive, but, with the development of a new air-cooled magnetron, there was no longer any demand for a pipe fitter.

The microwave oven had reached a new degree of credence, peculiarly with respect to certain industrial applications. By holding a microwave oven available, eating houses and peddling companies could now maintain merchandises refrigerator-fresh up to the point of service, so heat to order. The consequence? Fresher nutrient, less waste, and money saved.

New and Unusual Applications

As the nutrient industry began to acknowledge the possible and versatility of the microwave oven, its utility was put to new trials. Industries began utilizing microwaves to dry murphy french friess and roast java beans and peanuts. Meats could be defrosted, precooked and tempered. Even the shucking of oysters was made easier by microwaves. Other industries found the diverse applications of microwave heating rather advantageous. In clip, microwaves were being used to dry cork, ceramics, paper, leather, baccy, fabrics, pencils, flowers, wet books and lucifer caputs. The microwave oven had become a necessity in the commercial market and the possibilities seemed endless.

The First “ Radarange ”

In 1947, Raytheon demonstrated the universe ‘s first micro-cook oven and called it a “ Radarange, ” the winning name in an employee competition. Housed in refrigerator-sized cabinets, the first microwave ovens cost between $ 2,000 and $ 3,000. Sometime between 1952-55, Tappan introduced the first place theoretical account priced at $ 1295. In 1965 Raytheon acquired Amana Refrigeration. Two old ages subsequently, the first countertop, domestic oven was introduced. It was a 100-volt microwave oven, which cost merely under $ 500 and was smaller, safer and more dependable than old theoretical accounts.

By 1975 Gross saless of Microwave Ovens Exceeded that of Gas Ranges

Technological progresss and farther developments led to a microwave oven that was polished and priced for the consumer kitchen. However, there were many myths and frights environing these cryptic new electronic “ radio detection and ranging ranges. ” By the 1970ss, more and more people were happening the benefits of microwave cookery to outweigh the possible hazards, and none of them were deceasing of radiation toxic condition, traveling blind, unfertile, or going impotent ( at least non from utilizing micro-cook ovens ) . As frights faded, a swelling moving ridge of credence began filtrating into the kitchens of America and other states. Myths were runing off, and uncertainty was turning into demand.

By 1975, gross revenues of microwave ovens would, for the first clip, exceed that of gas scopes. The undermentioned twelvemonth, a reported 17 % of all places in Japan were making their cookery by microwaves, compared with 4 % of the places in the United States the same twelvemonth. Before long, though, microwave ovens were decorating the kitchens in over nine million places, or about 14 % , of all the places in the United States. In 1976, the microwave oven became a more normally owned kitchen contraption than the dish washer, making about 60 % , or about 52 million U.S. families. America ‘s cookery wonts were being drastically changed by the clip and energy-saving convenience of the microwave oven. Once considered a luxury, the microwave oven had developed into a practical necessity for a fast-paced universe.

An spread outing market has produced a manner to accommodate every gustatory sensation ; a size, form, and colour to suit any kitchen, and a monetary value to delight about every pocketbook. Options and characteristics, such as the add-on of convection heat, investigation and detector cookery, run into the demands of virtually every cookery, heating or drying application. Today, the thaumaturgy of microwave cookery has radiated around the Earth, going an international phenomenon.

Inventor Spencer

Doctor Spencer continued at Raytheon as a senior adviser until he died at the age of 76. At the clip of his decease, Dr. Spencer held 150 patents and was considered one of the universe ‘s prima experts in the field of microwave energy, despite his deficiency of a high school instruction.

On September 18, 1999, Dr. Percy LaBaron Spencer was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and took his topographic point in history alongside such great discoverers as Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and George Washington Carver.

Cite this page

A brief history of the microwave oven. (2017, Jul 24). Retrieved from


Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront