The microwave oven has become a necessity in our daily life, but most of us do not know that the functioning of this nifty device was discovered by mere chance.
During World War II, the British invented the magnetron; a device that allows the conversion of kinetic energy into electromagnetic energy in the form of microwaves. This new technology has made the transmission signal stronger than the radio’s and hence improved the radars ability to detect enemy aircrafts.
The United States wanted to get this technology to produce it and enhance it in order to exploit its power. And it was the Raytheon Company that had the privilege of studying and constructing devices exploiting it.
In 1945, an engineer from Raytheon named Percy Spencer was surprised by the melting of a chocolate bar in a pocket of his coat while he was working on a magnetron during its active state. This made him aware about the potential of microwaves for cooking food.
After several experiments and as he had patented this cooking method, Raytheon marketed the first microwave oven in 1953 measuring 1.80m in height and weighing 340 kg for the price of 3500 dollars.