National Microwave Day

A modern kitchen with a microwave, showcasing different food items being prepared, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere..
National microwave day illustration

Hey there! Are you ready to celebrate one of the most amazing inventions in modern history? Brace yourself, because National Microwave Day is here to heat things up!

When is Microwave Day?

It's national microwave day on the 6th December.

The History of Microwaves

Back in the day, before we had microwaves, folks actually had to wait for their leftovers to heat up in a conventional oven. Can you imagine such torment? But fear not, my friend, for the microwave oven came into existence and changed our lives for the better. Let's travel back in time to discover how the microwave has become the kitchen miracle we know and love today.

Birth of the Microwave Oven

It all started in the 1940s when scientists were toying around with radar technology during World War II. They noticed that the microwaves generated by these systems had the peculiar ability to cook food. Brilliant minds put two and two together and realized that they could harness this power for culinary purposes.

Popularizing the Microwave

While the first microwave oven was created in 1947, it was far from the compact and user-friendly appliances we have today. They were massive, expensive, and only found in commercial kitchens. It wasn't until the 1960s and 70s that the microwave oven started appearing in households, revolutionizing the way we cook and reheat our favorite meals.

Microwave Technology Today

Fast forward to the present day, and the microwave oven has become an essential part of any kitchen. With innovative features like auto-defrost, multi-stage cooking, and even built-in grills, microwaves make our lives so much easier. Whether you use it to warm up leftovers, pop some popcorn, or cook a quick meal, there's no denying the convenience and efficiency of a microwave oven.

Let's Celebrate!

Now that you know the fascinating history of microwaves, it's time to celebrate National Microwave Day! On this day, show your microwave some love and appreciation for all the delicious meals it has helped you prepare and the midnight snacks it has rescued you from.

History behind the term 'Microwave'


The Invention of the Magnetron

In 1945, the magnetron, a vacuum tube that produced microwaves, was invented by British engineer Dr. Percy Spencer while working for Raytheon. The magnetron was originally developed for radar systems during World War II.


Discovery of microwave technology

In 1945, an American engineer and inventor named Percy Spencer accidentally discovered microwave technology while working on magnetrons for radar sets during World War II. While standing near an active magnetron, he noticed that a chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. This observation led him to realize that the microwaves emitted by the magnetron were capable of heating food much faster than conventional methods.


Introduction of the first microwave oven

In 1947, Raytheon Corporation, the company for which Percy Spencer worked, introduced the first microwave oven called the 'Radarange.' It was a refrigerator-sized appliance that used microwave technology to cook food. However, these early microwave ovens were primarily used in commercial settings such as restaurants and were too large and expensive for home use.


The Accidental Discovery

In 1946, while conducting experiments on the magnetron, Dr. Percy Spencer noticed that a candy bar in his pocket had melted. He realized that the microwaves emitted by the magnetron had caused the candy bar to heat up. This accidental discovery led to the idea of using microwaves for cooking.


The First Microwaved Popcorn

In 1947, Dr. Percy Spencer further explored the heating capabilities of microwaves by placing corn kernels near the magnetron. The kernels quickly popped, demonstrating the potential of microwaves for cooking food.


Introduction of the first countertop microwave oven

It wasn't until 1967 that the first countertop microwave oven for home use was introduced by the Amana Corporation. This smaller and more affordable microwave oven revolutionized cooking by providing an efficient and time-saving method of food preparation. Now people could heat or cook food quickly and conveniently without the need for traditional stovetops or ovens.


Rapid popularity and widespread adoption

Throughout the 1970s, microwave ovens gained rapid popularity and widespread adoption among households. The convenience of microwave cooking, along with advancements in technology that made them more compact and affordable, played a significant role in their increasing demand. Microwaves became a ubiquitous kitchen appliance, transforming the culinary landscape and changing the way people cooked and prepared meals.


The First Microwave Oven

In the same year, Raytheon filed a patent for the first microwave oven, called the Radarange. This massive machine stood 6 feet tall, weighed around 750 pounds, and was primarily used in commercial and industrial settings.

Today's Microwaves

Modern features and versatility

Today, microwave ovens have evolved with numerous features and functions. They can defrost, cook, reheat, and even bake certain types of food. With the integration of smart technology, some microwaves can be controlled remotely through mobile applications. Additionally, microwaves now come in various sizes, styles, and power levels to cater to different cooking needs. The humble microwave has become an essential appliance in modern kitchens, saving time and providing convenience in our fast-paced lives.


The Introduction of Consumer Microwave Ovens

In 1955, the first consumer microwave oven was introduced by the Tappan Stove Company. It was called the 'Radarange' and cost about $1,295, which is equivalent to over $12,000 in today's currency. Due to its high price, consumer microwave ovens remained a luxury item for several years.


Compact and Affordable Microwaves

In 1967, Amana Corporation introduced the first compact and affordable microwave oven for residential use. Priced at around $495, it brought microwave cooking within reach of the general public and revolutionized the way people prepared their meals.


Microwaves Gain Popularity

By 1975, microwave ovens had become much more popular and affordable, with the majority of households owning one. Their convenience and speed in heating and cooking food made them an indispensable kitchen appliance.

Did you know?

Did you know that the microwave was actually discovered by accident? A scientist named Percy Spencer was working with magnetrons (the power source of microwaves) when he noticed that the chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. This accidental discovery led to the birth of the microwave oven!


food fun technology

First identified

6th December 2015

Most mentioned on

6th December 2017

Total mentions


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