Did You Know That The Microwave Was Invented By Accident?

The microwave was created accidentally by a Raytheon engineer named Percy Spencer and has now become a popular appliance in kitchens all over the world. Keep reading to find out how Spencer did it.

By Cookist

In this day and age, the microwave is not a strange device and more than 90 percent of American homes have one. Initially it was created for one purpose only but now people use it to do a variety of things including heating things like popcorn to pork rinds.

It started with an accident


Everyone loves the microwave because of how quickly it gets things done and how easy it is to use.

However not many know that it was never the creator's intent, at least at first. Indeed, the microwave was created by accident over seven decades ago by a Raytheon engineer named Percy Spencer.

He had been giving a military-grade magnetron a test run when he  realized his snack had melted. Spencer, who had a knack of fixing problems, was a nature lover.

He loved squirrels and chipmunks and would always carry a peanut cluster bar in his pockets that he could feed them with during lunch.

Chocolate melts at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit which means melting his peanut cluster bar with microwaves is an amazing feat. It immediately piqued his curiosity.

Spencer ran another test with the magnetron but this time he used an egg. It took only moments before the egg exploded all over his face.

The next day, Spencer used corn kernels and got them popped with his new invention, after which he  shared the result — popcorn — with the whole office and thus the microwave oven was born.

The rise of the microwave 


In 1947, a year after Spencer found out what he could do with the microwave, the first commercial microwave oven started getting sold.

It was called the “Radarange,” and it weighed nearly 750 pounds and cost over $2,000. That was a steep price to pay for an appliance people didn't know much about.

In 1955, the first domestic microwave was created, however it too did not do well on the market  because of how expensive it was and because microwave technology was still a novelty.

Fortunately the marketing never stopped and two decades after it was created, the microwave oven started seeing wide range acceptance in American homes in the form of Amana’s compact “Radarange.”

By 1975, a million microwaves were sold annually and today that value has more than doubled.

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