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The History of Microwave Ovens

The first microwave oven was invented in 1945, but it wasn’t until 1967 that the microwave oven came on the market. The first commercially-available microwave oven had a turntable for rotating food, which allowed operators to cook differently sized dishes at once.

This design was very popular until 1973 when more modern models with a rotating tray and spinning plate were introduced.

What is a Microwave Oven?

The microwave oven is one of the most common cooking appliances in the kitchen, and it’s certainly a favorite among those who are time-crunched. The secret to its popularity is its convenience. It can cook food much faster than any other method, which makes it a great choice for time-strapped people.

In fact, microwaved food has been found to retain 70 percent more nutrients than that of stove-cooked food because it doesn’t require a hot or open flame. The history of the microwave oven dates back to 1945, when an American inventor named Percy L. Spencer invented the first microwave oven. He created this appliance with military purposes in mind—namely, to heat up food for soldiers during World War II in case they were stranded without access to any fuel sources.

That’s right: without electricity and without fuel, these brave soldiers would still have access to their meals thanks to Percy Spencer’s invention!

How the microwave oven was invented

The microwave oven was invented by Percy Spencer, a scientist and inventor who worked for Raytheon Corporation. He was born in 1894 in Vermont and grew up in Massachusetts.

In the 1920s, Spencer worked as an engineer at Raytheon, where he developed military technology for radio communication. He experimented with different ways to improve radio receivers and amplifiers.

He discovered that when he turned on a nearby magnetron (a vacuum tube used in radar systems) and placed an egg near it, the egg exploded. He found that this happened only if he put the egg directly in front of the tube—and only if it was inside a metal container.

Spencer continued to experiment with microwaves and discovered that they could be used to heat food quickly—and without having to heat up entire pots or pans of water. In 1945, Raytheon put out its first microwave oven model. Today there are more than 100 million microwave ovens in use around the world!

Woman placing plate with food into microwave to warm up
Woman placing plate with food into microwave to warm up

Why are they called “microwaves?”

The word “microwave” was created by the inventor of the microwave oven, Percy Spencer. The name was coined because he noticed that radar waves were used to heat food in the military. He thought it would be a great idea to use the same principle to heat food at home.

He tried to explain his idea to an executive of Raytheon, where he worked as an engineer. But since the word “radar” was classified, they had to find another way of describing it. They decided on a combination of “microwave” and “radar.”

Spencer received a patent for his invention in 1945 and founded Raytheon Manufacturing Company in 1947 with $50,000 in capital. It took time for people to accept the new technology, but by 1965 there were over ten million microwave ovens in use in the United States alone!

How Does a Microwave Work?

A microwave oven uses microwaves to heat up food. Microwaves are waves of electromagnetic energy with a frequency between 300 megahertz (MHz) and 3 gigahertz (GHz).

Microwave radiation is absorbed by water molecules in your food, causing the temperature to increase. This is what makes your food cooking faster than if you were to use conventional ovens, which cook at temperatures reaching as high as 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Microwaves work by exciting the molecules in food into oscillating and rotating faster than they normally would. When molecules are excited, they release a form of energy known as heat.

This process is called “microwave heating” or “microwave effects” and is how microwave ovens cook your food so quickly. In order to produce this kind of intense heat, microwaves have to be focused on the surface of an object for a long time—the longer it takes for microwaves to penetrate through the thickness of your food, the longer it will take for them to cook it.

The Science Behind the Smell in a Microwave Oven

The science behind the smell in a microwave oven is actually quite fascinating. Every time you use it, you are creating an electromagnetic field that impedes the electrons from flowing normally through your food.

These electrons then collide with atoms and molecules of water vapor in the air inside the oven, which produces some very interesting smells. There are three main types of waves produced by microwaves: radio waves, infrared waves, and visible light waves.

For example, when the magnetron is on, it creates a high level of microwaves that produce an intense heat field within the oven cavity. This leads to thermal radiation and water vaporization.

As these molecules evaporate into gas particles, they dissolve in moisture found in food and emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or other unwanted odors as they do so. So if you’re cooking up a feast for family or friends, make sure to keep your kitchen clean at all times!

Why Microwave Ovens Are So Popular Now

Microwave ovens are a staple in kitchens everywhere. The ability to cook food in seconds and have it taste great is a huge benefit for busy people who don’t have time to cook dinner or lunch every day. This convenience has led to an increase in the popularity of microwave ovens over time, but why is this?

The answer lies in the evolution of this technology. Originally introduced in 1947 by Raytheon Corporation, microwaves were only available for commercial use at first. By 1957, there were approximately 2 million homes that owned a microwave oven. Now, there are over 100 million households with one (1).

What makes them so popular? There are several reasons why this type of cooking has become so widespread:

1) They can be used to prepare almost any type of food quickly and easily

2) They don’t require much effort on the part of the user (you simply place your food inside and press a button)

3) They’re convenient! No more waiting around for hours while your food cooks slowly on top of the stovetop or in an oven—you can get dinner ready in minutes instead!

What Are the Benefits of Using a Microwave?

Microwaves are a handy kitchen appliance that can make your life easier. They’re great for reheating leftovers and cooking small amounts of food, but they can also help you with more advanced tasks, like cooking pasta or steaming vegetables.

We’ve outlined some of the benefits of using a microwave below:

– It’s quick and easy! Microwaves use electromagnetic waves to heat up food quickly and efficiently. This means that you don’t have to wait around for hours while your meal cooks. You can have dinner ready in minutes!

– It saves energy! Microwaves use less electricity than traditional ovens, so they’re better for the environment. Plus, they don’t heat up your kitchen like an oven does—which means you’ll save money on your heating bills too!

– It’s versatile! Some microwaves have special settings for different types of food (like popcorn or baked potatoes), so you can cook many different things in one appliance.


So there you have it—the history of microwaves and why they’re such a great thing to have in your kitchen.

Just think: the microwave oven has only been around since 1945. And now we have the ability to cook food in less than one minute or even heat up our leftovers in just seconds. It’s amazing!

If you’re looking for a new appliance for your kitchen, or want to upgrade from your current microwave, check out this article I wrote on the best microwave ovens you can buy today!