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History of the Microwave

Leftovers Are No Longer A Problem With Microwaves
History of the microwave oven [1947-2022]- BLASTERTECHNOLOGY
History of the Microwave


Have you ever wanted to finish your leftovers, but it is too cold to eat? Or have you ever wondered how to cook a party dinner in 5 minutes? Well, Percy Spencer fixed that problem with the invention of the microwave oven in 1945. The history of this invention will surprise you as it develops from 1945 to the present day.

How the microwave was created

The microwave was actually created by mistake. In 1940, during World War 2, John Randall and Harry Boot invented the cavity magnetron tube. This invention helped detect enemy aircrafts and ships by using microwave radar signals. Percy Spencer, on the other hand was analyzing a new way to advance the radar by making it motorized in 1945. This was for a company called Raytheon. During his analysis, he noticed his chocolate bar in his pocket starting to melt due to the microwave’s radiation. This interesting observation led Percy Spencer to start researching if microwave radiation can heat food. He evaluated his theory by surrounding food items by a metal box that was attached to an electromagnetic field generator. The results were fascinating, he was able to heat up his lunch with his new invention. He shared his idea of warm lunches to everyone, which eventually was heard by Raytheon, the company he was working for.  In 1947 Raytheon created the first commercial microwave, hence the Radarange.

The evolution of the microwave 1945-2024

In 1945 after the Radarange was created people started buying it. It was not the same model as present day 2024. The issue with the engineering design of the Radarange was that it was a new concept so not everyone trusted it. It also took too much space in someone’s home, standing at 5.9 feet and weighed 749 lbs. The main reason it was hard to purchase a Radarange was that unlike today only wealthy people could afford it. This was because the price was $5,000 which in today’s money equal $66,000 . With this there must be room for improvement and so there was.

In 1955 Tappan, created the first household microwave oven which the model’s name was the Rl-1. Like the Radarange the Tappan Microwave Oven was unsuccessful as it was too large and too expensive.

Power On: Tappan Microwaves 1955 – Richland County History

Seeing the same pattern in microwave ovens, Raytheon in 1967 launched Amana Radarange Microwave Oven after Raytheon bought Amana Refrigeration 2 years before in 1965. No time was wasted because only after 2 years when Raytheon bought Amana did, they start selling their new microwave oven. Finally, there was a successful microwave oven. Unlike the original Radarange and the Rl-1, the Amana Radarange Microwave Oven was small and cheaper selling at $495.

Amana Radarange Microwave Oven was successful for 5 years because Litton, an electronics company overpowered and took over the microwave oven business by making a microwave shape we are more familiar in 2024. Litton’s new microwave was made in the 1970’s. Though, the Litton microwave oven seems perfect Amana had to bump it up a notch. Instead of a trashy control button like the previous microwaves, they decide to make a digital control panel with the RR-6 in 1975.


Percy Spencer created a revolutionary invention that changed the world forever. He showed us that this invention isn’t complicated to build or understand. We still use the same type of engineering process since the 1940’s while building microwaves. As the microwave has evolved, the microwave has been getting increasingly affordable and suitable to family needs. Therefore, microwaves till this day have been a successful and impactful invention.

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Power On: Tappan Microwaves 1955

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