Dating Microwaves

I’ve been thinking about microwaves.

Things like: How old are microwaves? And when did they become available to the public?

It all started with my visit to the Museum of Flight (my post from that day). One of the things that caught my eye at the museum was an old microwave. It was in Special Air Mission (SAM) 970, which is a retired Air Force One . The plane went into service during the Eisenhower presidency and was used by Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. Most of the fixtures in SAM 970 looked old and dated, so seeing a microwave surprised me.

The Air Force One microwave.

Before I saw this microwave I had never thought much about how old they were. I would have guessed that they dated back to the early 1970s. Seeing this one, however, made me believe that they were from the 1950s or early 1960s.

This unresolved question lingered in my mind for months. Most times it only showed up when I couldn’t run an internet search (in church or during a meeting or while I was teaching or when I was supposed to be sleeping).  Then last it showed up while I was conducting data analysis (it is amazing how many diversions appear during data analysis). A quick internet search revealed microwaves date back to 1947. 1947! It was a Raytheon product devised with World War II technology. The first microwaves sold under the name Radarange. It took microwaves a couple of decades to become popular with homeowners. By that time they were smaller than the original models, cheaper, and not quite as scary.

I had no idea microwaves were that old.

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3 Comments

Filed under General

3 responses to “Dating Microwaves

  1. Chris

    The best thing about dating microwaves? They rarely stand you up.

  2. Magdala

    I have recently been struck with the microwave origin and such. I have found some very interesting information. My boyfriend and I were discussing your article here and when I told him about the date you listed, 1947, as the beginning of the use of microwaves; he told me to look up the Roswell crash date. So I did, curiously. And here is what I found-“The Roswell UFO Incident, also known simply as Roswell, was a report of an
    object that crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, in June or July 1947, allegedly an extra-terrestrial spacecraft and its alien occupants.” Tell me now, doesn’t this make you scratch your head just a little? Especially if the first microwave was used in this aircraft, owned by the U.S. government? Call me a conspiracy theorist if you will but this to me seems all too co-incidental. Keep looking onto this, it has proven to be quite intriguing thus far. Peace and Love to you and yours.

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