100 Greatest Science Inventions of All Time

By Kendall Haven | Go to book overview

Microwave Oven
Year of Invention: 1946

What Is It? A device that uses microwaves instead of external heat to cook
food.

Who Invented It? Percy Spencer (in Boston)


Why Is This Invention One of the 100 Greatest?

The microwave oven revolutionized American cooking. Publishers have had to rewrite their cookbooks to provide microwave directions. Restaurants and homebuilders have redesigned their kitchens and kitchen concepts. Microwaves save energy and space. They cut cooking time by up to 80 percent and are the first great leap forward in cooking technology in a thousand years.


History of the Invention

What Did People Do Before?

Always humans have cooked by using a fire or stove to apply heat from outside the thing being cooked and heating it slowly through to the middle. All cooking development focused on controlling the flame, evening its heat, and controlling the way heat worked its way into food. No one was looking for an entirely new approach to cooking.


How Was the Microwave Invented?

Percy Spencer had every reason to be a troubled failure in life. He was born in a small town in Maine, and his father died before Spencer turned two. His mother left home shortly thereafter. Spencer was raised by an aunt and uncle. When Spencer was seven, that uncle died. In order to help support the family, Spencer dropped out of school as a 12-year-old and took a job in a local factory.

In 1910, a paper mill hired 16-year-old Spencer to help install their first electrical system. Two years later, Spencer, fascinated by electronics and especially by the newly invented radio, joined the navy to be a radio operator. After his tour, he joined a company making radio tubes for the army. In 1928 (still with no formal education beyond sixth grade) he was hired by Raytheon to design and build better radio tubes.

-237-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
100 Greatest Science Inventions of All Time
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 336

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.