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.
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.