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Where was the Microwave Oven Invented

Microwave ovens (often just called microwaves) are kitchen appliances that utilize microwave radiation to cook or heat food and drinks. The microwaves, always emitted from a magnetron, excites water, fats, oils and some other molecules to heat the food or drink. But where was the microwave oven invented? This article will answer just that question, and also list three interesting facts about microwave ovens.

Where was the Microwave Oven Invented
Cooking food with microwaves was accidentally discovered by Percy Spencer while he was building magnetrons for radar sets at the Raytheon Company (an American defence contractor). It was invented Waltham, Massachusetts. Spencer discovered microwaves cooked food when a peanut chocolate bar started to melt. He was then able to cook popcorn and an egg, which exploded in his face! In 1947, the Raytheon Company marketed the first microwave oven called the Radarange which sold for $5000 each. They weighed 700 pounds (340kg) and consumed 3000 watts, three times more than most microwave ovens today. In the 50’s and 60’s, microwave ovens did not sell very well. Only in the early 70’s did microwave ovens begin to sell like hot cakes! In 1970, 40,000 microwaves were sold. Only five years later, 1 million ovens were sold! Now, microwave ovens are found in nearly every kitchen and are very commonly used to reheat food or make ‘TV dinners’. Now you know who, when and where the microwave oven was invented. Now let’s look at three interesting facts about microwaves.

Three Interesting Facts about Microwave Ovens
Fact 1: Professional chefs rarely use microwave ovens, because many flavour-enhancing reactions (such as browning and caramelization) cannot take place at the high temperatures.

Fact 2: As food is heated for such a short time in a microwave oven, it is often cooked unevenly and bacteria may not be killed when reheating food.

Fact 3: Research has determined that microwave ovens are very unlikely to cause cancer. This is because microwaves are non-ionizing. It is ionizing radiation (like X-rays and ultraviolet light) that may cause cancer.

(2) Comments

  1. In the Texas Centennial Fair in 1936, the foods building had a new modern invention showing what I remember heated food faster than any thing up to that date. I thought they called it the microwave. Could this be true or what was it called?

  2. Bobby,

    It is possible (although I would say unlikely) that it was a microwave. It is often very hard determine with full certainly exactly when things were invented and who invented them!

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