It is hard to imagine the hassle we all went through to reheat lunch or fill a bowl of popcorn before the advent of the microwave oven.
Your beeping buddy in the kitchen owes its existence to a Raytheon (RTN - Get Report) engineer who, back in 1945, was experimenting with a device called a magnetron, a microwave -emitting tube used as part of military radar systems. As he tinkered with the device, he noticed a candy bar in his pocket melting.
Suspecting the radiation was cooking his snack, the engineer set out to test the theory. In doing so, Percy Spencer discovered a revolutionary way to cook and goes down in history as the first person to make microwaved popcorn.Built in 1947, Raytheon's first take on the oven was targeted at commercial uses -- it was more than 5 feet tall and cost roughly $5,000. In 1967, Amana, a Raytheon division, began selling sub-$500 versions intended for at-home kitchen use.