Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Invention of microwave oven by Percy L. Spencer (1894-1970)

Percy Spencer worked with Raytheon after World War II. One day he noticed that a candy bar in his pocket started to melt, when he walked near one of the magnetrons, even though he felt no heat.

Spencer was curious. Spencer asked for a bag of popcorn and he placed popcorn kernels beside the magnetron. He quickly discovered that the microwaves from magnetron could pop the corn.

Spencer immediately saw the possibilities for cooking, and he filed a patent on 8th October 1945 for the treatment of foodstuffs using electromagnetic energy that led to the development of the microwave oven.

Of the 130 patents, Percy Spencer was awarded, the one for microwave cooking is No. 2,495,429, Method of Treating Foodstuff. It is just 2.5 pages long and one of them is a simple, full page diagram.

Spencer and his team developed the first microwave oven, the RadaRange, in 1947.

The first microwave oven was sold to a restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1947. It cost $3000 and weighed 750 pounds and stood five and half feet tall.

The sale of the microwave oven was slow initially, with limited commercial applications, until the introduction of the domestic microwave oven in the 1960s.

In 1955, Tappan, in Ohio stove manufacturer, introduced the first home microwave oven. It was 24 inches wide, operated on 220 volts, and was price at around $1,200.
Invention of microwave oven by Percy L. Spencer (1894-1970)

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