Who Invented the Microwave Oven? History Of Microwave Oven - Biography of Percy Lebaron Spencer

The Inventor of the Microwave Oven. Percy Lebaron Spencer is an American engineer and inventor of the first microwave oven in the world. Spencer was born in Howland, Maine on July 19, 1894 and died on September 8, 1970. He was known as the inventor of a microwave oven, the microwave he accidentally invented when he passed on an active set radar where his work and then found his melted chocolate, from which he developing his research. Spencer and his wife, Louise, have three children: John, James, and George. He assumes Vannevar Bush, Omar Bradley, William Redington Hewlett and David Packard as friends. 


At the age of just 18 months, Spencer's father died and his mother handed him over to be cared for by his aunt and uncle. when Spencer was only seven years old his uncle died. Spencer quit grammar school to work in order to help the life of him and his aunt. 

At the age of 12, he started working from morning to evening at the spool factory until he was 16 years old. At that moment he was informed that the local paper mill would start using electricity. Spencer comes from a very remote place in Maine, where most people are still blind about electricity. He was so interested and started to learn everything he could. He applied for this work in a paper mill, and was one of three people employed to install electricity at the plant.
Who Invented the Microwave Oven? History Of Microwave Oven - Percy Lebaron Spencer

At age 18, Spencer decided to join the United States Navy, then became interested in wireless communications and immediately followed the learning about wireless carriers during the sinking of the Titanic. While with the navy, he became a radio technology expert: "I just held a lot of books and taught myself while I was standing watching at night." He also later studied alone trigonometry, calculus, chemistry, physics, and metallurgy, among other subjects. 


In 1939 Spencer became one of the world's leading experts in the design of radar tubes. Next Spencer worked at Raytheon, the US Department of Defense contractor, as head of the electric tube division. Due to his reputation and expertise, Spencer succeeded in helping Raytheon win a government contract to develop and manufacture combat radar equipment for the MIT Radiation Laboratory. It was a very important part for the Allies and became the second highest military priority project during World War II, behind the Manhattan Project. 

Unintentional discovery

One day while building a magnetron, when Spencer was standing in front of an active set radar he found the candy bar in his pocket had melted. Although Spencer was not the first to know about it, he was the first to investigate the incident. 

From the incident Spencer decided to experiment with food, including popcorn seeds, and became the world's first microwave popcorn. In another experiment, the egg is placed in a tea kettle, and the magnetron is placed directly above it. The result was an egg bursting inside of one of his coworkers watching the kettle.
Finally Spencer invented a world's first microwave oven shaped metal box in which there are electromagnetic waves. Magnetrons emit microwaves into metal boxes and reflect in the box, so they are controlled and safe. He then puts various foods in the box, while observing the effects and temperature of the monitoring. 

Raytheon filed a patent on October 8, 1945 for a microwave oven cooker, eventually named Radarange. In 1947 began commercial production of a microwave oven with a size of about 6 meters, weighing about 750 pounds, and costs between $ 2,000 - $ 3,000. In 1967 oven prices were arguably relatively affordable at a price of $ 495 and a sizeable (counter-top).

Selected Spencer became Senior Vice President and Senior Member of the Board of Directors at Raytheon. He received 300 patents during his career there, the building is named in honor of his services. 

Awards and achievements achieved Spencer:

  • Distinguished Public Service Award.
  • Membership of the Institute of Radio Engineers.
  • Fellowship at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Massachusetts.

Modern Microwave OvenAll the awards are owned even though they never received formal education or were taught about it by anyone. 

For his invention, Spencer received a royalty, but he was paid a one-time $ 2.00 per cent from Raytheon. The same payment method was made company to all inventors on the company's payroll at that time for the company's patents. (wikipedia)

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