The Home Microwave Oven Turned 50 Years Old

2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the home microwave oven. Today in 2019 you’d be hard pressed to find a home that doesn’t have a microwave, but the first home ovens were only sold by the Amana corporation in 1967. Microwaves had been used in food preparation since the 1950s, but it was nearly two decades later that technology allowed them to be miniaturised and their costs reduced to make them affordable for home use.

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Funnily enough, the microwave oven was an accidental invention, and we have a scientist studying the effects of radars and a melting candy bar to thank for its development!

Early Beginnings

The first home microwave released by Amana was called the Radarange, a contraction of the words radar and range, as in a stove. Radar is the acronym of radio detection and ranging, hence its connection to the oven. The microwave works on the principle that radio waves bounce off the surface of large objects and thus heat them up or burn holes in them.

Scientist Percy Spencer discovered the technology that was used in the microwave completely accidentally, and Raytheon, which Amana was a subsidiary of, soon patented the technology and the first Radarange was born.

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A Gradual Progression

For many years microwave ovens were only used in commercial kitchens, along with commercial ovens. They were far bigger than they are today and prohibitively expensive for the average homeowner.

However, as technology evolved, it became clear that microwaves would be a an excellent addition to any home, and newer, smaller and more cost-effective models were developed and released on to the market. The first home microwave ovens caused a stir, and many people refused to trust them, saying that anything that worked with radio waves was dangerous, but over the years this notion fell away. Although the thought of the danger went away the device is still powered by the mains so any repairs to the device including wiring should be dealt with by a professional such as an Electrician Cardiff company.

A Multi-Purpose Appliance

Today microwaves are used for everything from defrosting frozen food to cooking rice and potatoes, heating up ready meals or cooking entire meals in just a few minutes. As we consume more ready meals than ever before, this appliance is one that not only saves us time but also money, as it’s energy-efficient and uses far less power than a stove. It’s also compact, so it’s ideal for smaller kitchens and those cooking for one.

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