Fact File about the Invention of the Microwave: Invention: Microwave oven *** Date of Invention: 1945 *** Name of Inventor: Percy Spencer *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1894 - 1969 *** Nationality of Inventor: American *** Historical Period: WW2 (1939 - 1945) *** Category: Household Items *** Country of Origin: America *** Facts about the Inventor, Percy Spencer,†and
his invention ***
Fact 1: Who invented the Microwave? The Microwave ovenwas invented by Percy Spencer in 1945 during the WW2 (1939 - 1945) era of inventions.
Fact 2: Who invented the Microwave? Prior to the invention of the Microwave
oven in 1945, conventional types of cookers and ovens were the primary way to
cook food during the modern era.
Fact 3: Who invented the Microwave? Before the microwave oven was
invented, scientists invented magnetron, a tube that produces microwaves, during
WW2 (1939 - 1945). Magnetrons were used in the British RADAR system in order to
spot Nazi warplanes on their way to bomb the British Isles.
Fact 4: Who invented the Microwave? Purely by accident it was discovered
that microwaves could also cook food and the microwave oven was invented in
Fact 5: Who invented the Microwave? The inventor of the Microwave oven, Percy Spencer, was born on July 19, 1894 in Howland, Maine, United States and died on September 8, 1969.
Fact 6: Who invented the Microwave? The early years of Percy Spencer were
spent in Howland, Maine, United States where he was raised by his family. Percy
Spencer was educated at a grammar school, but was forced to leave school early
in order to earn a living.
Fact 7: Who invented the Microwave? Following his education his first job was
working in a local paper mill where, despite his total lack of training or
experience, he became involved in the installation of electricity.
Fact 8: Who invented the Microwave? Percy Spencer was horrified by the
sinking of the Titanic in 1912 but admired the efforts of the wireless operators
aboard the ship. At the age of 18, Percy Spencer decided to join the U.S. Navy,
keen to learn about wireless communications.
Fact 9: Who invented the Microwave? Percy Spencer was not given the
opportunity to learn about wireless communications directly so he spent all his
spare time learning about the subject. He was therefore a self-taught man who
went on to learn about calculus, chemistry and physics and became an expert in
Fact 10: Who invented the Microwave? In 1925 Percy Spencer joined a newly
formed company in Cambridge, Massachusetts as an engineer. It was called the
Raytheon Manufacturing Company, which became a major U.S. defense contractor.
Fact 11: Who invented the Microwave? Percy Spencer became a member of the
management team and whilst producing vacuum tubes began experimenting with
Fact 12: Who invented the Microwave? Robert Watson-Watt invented Radar in
1939 at the start of WW2 but as the war progressed, Britain was unable to
mass-produce the tens of thousands of magnetron tubes which were at the heart of
Fact 13: Who invented the Microwave? At the suggestion of MITís Radiation
Laboratory, a meeting was arranged between British scientists and Raytheon
engineer Percy Spencer. Impressed with the Raytheon company and Percy Spencer
the British awarded a contract to Raytheon to supply the magnetrons.
Fact 14: Who invented the Microwave? Raytheon became the major Allied
supplier of magnetrons during the war years and Percy Spencer became an expert
in the field. He was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award for his
work, the highest honor the Navy bestows on civilians.
Fact 15: Who invented the Microwave? The invention of the Microwave oven
happened completely by accident at the end of WW2. Percy Spencer was working in
the radiation laboratory at Raytheon on active Radar equipment and suddenly
noticed that the candy bar he had in his pocket had suddenly melted - the
microwaves had heated the chocolate. Curious about the effect he decided to
experiment further and tested the effect on unpopped kernels of corn. To his
delight and surprise they began to pop!
Fact 16: Who invented the Microwave? Percy Spencer began conducting
research and additional experiments into the effects of microwaves on food. The
results were exciting and positive, microwaves cooked food. He discovered that
Microwaves were absorbed by water, fats and sugars and immediately converted to
heat, cooking food quickly (much faster than conventional ovens) and evenly,
without heating dishes made of plastics, glass or ceramics. The type of
radiation emitted by microwave ovens is non-ionizing, so did not present any
form of danger to people.
Fact 17: Who invented the Microwave? The microwave oven was a relatively
simple device consisting of a magnetron hooked up to a high voltage source. The
magnetron directed microwaves into a metal box which bounced around converting
microwave energy into heat and cooking food without effecting dishes.
Fact 18: Who invented the Microwave? On October 8, 1945 Percy Spencer and
Raytheon filed for a US patent for a "Method of treating foodstuffs" and added
"and more particularly to the cooking thereof through the use of electromagnetic
energy". The patent was granted number US2495429 A.
Fact 19: Who invented the Microwave? Once the patent for the invention of the Microwave
oven had been granted Raytheon began work on creating a commercial microwave
oven. The product, called the "Radarange" was launched in 1947.
Fact 20: Who invented the Microwave? The first Radarange was extremely
expensive with a price tag of $3,000. The Radarange was 6 feet tall
and weighed around 750 pounds. Too expensive and too bulky for home use and was
initially used in restaurants, railways and on ships.
Fact 21: Who invented the Microwave? It was many years before the
microwave oven would become commercially viable for home use. The first
microwave for home use was launched in 1967, cost $495 and was small enough to
be fitted on a kitchen counter top.
Who invented the Microwave? Percy Spencer died on September 8, 1969 at
the age of 77. Although he held over 300 patents he will always be remembered as
the inventor of the microwave oven.
Fact 22: Who invented the Microwave? The first microwave ovens were
referred to as "electronic ovens", they were not called microwave ovens until
the 1970's. The microwave oven can now be found in millions of kitchens all over
Fast Info and Fact File: Country of Origin: America *** Name of Inventor: Percy Spencer *** Nationality of Inventor: American *** Date of Invention: 1945 *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1894 - 1969 *** Invention Era: WW2 (1939 - 1945) *** Type: Household Items *** The Inventor and Invention of the Microwave