Dr. Percy Spencer invented microwave in 1946 while testing magnetron for radar system. Spencer was working with Raytheon Corporation on his project when he discovered that a sweet candy placed in his pocket melted due to rapid temperature rise. The other day he tried and tested the same with popcorns and then with an egg, he was surprised to find cooked corns and egg in his lab. He shared his experience with his colleagues and started working on his new invention.
Percy Spencer added the microwave power to an aluminium box. The energy got trapped in the box and created electromagnetic field. When food was placed in the box, its temperature rose highly. Microwave oven cooking revolutionized cooking.
The first oven that was placed in Boston restaurant in 1946 was of 6 feet height, weighed 750 pounds and costed $5000. It had to be water cooled and required plumbing installation due to high heat generation. Though it was not easily accepted by people due to its huge size, heavy weight and high cost but soon the sales were higher than that of gas ranges. Now almost every kitchen has microwave for reheating and cooking food. It saves time as well as energy.
Dr. Percy Spencer continued his service with the same firm till his death, at the age of 76. He has 150 patents to his name. A self taught scientist’s name was added to the National Inventors Hall of Fame on September 18, 1999.