The microwave oven, developed in an accident in 1945, was not obtainable for dwelling use till 1967. – South Florida reporter

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On December 6th, National Microwave Oven Day honors a device that changed the way we use the kitchen.

By chance, the self-taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered a way to safely heat food using microwaves. While working on an active radar in 1945, he noticed a candy bar melted in his pocket. The powerful microwave beams create a heating effect that is ideal for cooking. Spencer was deliberately trying to microwave popcorn. Next he tried to boil an egg. The egg test was less successful than the popcorn. It exploded on his colleague’s face! However, we can cook eggs in microwave ovens. Try poaching one. Spencer, who was employed by Raytheon, continued to experiment with various methods of safely heating food using microwaves. Raytheon filed a U.S. patent application on October 8, 1945 for Spencer’s microwave cooking process. In 1947 Raytheon built the first commercially available microwave oven. It was called “Radarange”. An estimated 90% of households in the US have a microwave. The first commercially available microwave oven was 1.8 meters high and weighed 340 kilograms. It used three times as much electricity as today’s microwave ovens and was water-cooled. The first food deliberately cooked in a microwave was popcorn. The first public use of a microwave oven was in January 1947. The Speedy Weeny vending machine was set up in Grand Central Terminal and sold freshly made hot dogs. A common idea that microwave ovens cook food “inside out” is a misconception. When heated in a microwave, closed containers such as eggs can explode due to the increased vapor pressure that builds up inside them. The cooking chamber (a metal box in which the food is placed and exposed to microwaves) resembles a Faraday cage and prevents the waves from coming out of the oven. The first microwave sold for $ 5,000. The machine, dubbed the “RadaRange,” was unsurprisingly a bigger robotic animal than the cute, cozy little kitchen animals we know today. Weighing 750 pounds and standing just under 6 feet tall, the first commercial microwave oven sold for $ 5,000 (now $ 52,628). It was also more powerful than today’s microwave, boiling a full potato in 30 seconds. According to Spencer’s grandson Rod, also an inventor, “The microwave oven eventually came to be known as Raytheon’s biggest commercial flaw, and that was because, like so many other flaws, they saw the cool technology but didn’t understand the market. “Microwaving plastic coated foods can cause cancer. will not stand next to it. Microwaves didn’t go home until 1967. The unit shrank in both size and price over the next 20 years, but not until 1967 after Raytheon acquired Amana Refrigeration and introduced a 100-volt, $ 500 countertop version specifically designed for home use that the general public could use showed genuine interest in actually buying one. It was Minnesota’s Golden Valley that first launched microwave popcorn in 1981. The company’s first product, Act I, now defunct, was made from real dairy products and therefore had to be refrigerated. Three years later, Golden Valley launched the storage-stable Act II, which triggered an avalanche of ubiquitous flat pockets that puff (and smell and hear) in the office microwave. Americans now consume 13 billion liters of popcorn every year, according to industry organization The Popcorn Group.

Sources:

National holiday calendar

History of the Microwave

Food beast

Epic

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