In today’s day and age, microwaves have become ubiquitous. I can hear the low hum and beeps of the appliance just writing about it! We use them to make popcorn, heat up leftovers and so much more! But did you know that it was created by accident?
Percy Spencer had always been a problem solver. Though he had little formal education, he was able to become an engineer due to his natural curiosity. He got a job at Raytheon Manufacturing Company, a defense and warfare company, and soon rose through the ranks to become a valued engineer at the company.
One day, when he was working on magnetrons, which are electron tubes that create microwaves, he reached into his pocket for a snack and realized that his peanut cluster bar had melted! “It was a gooey sticky mess!” he recounted.
He was curious as to how this had happened and placed an egg by the magnetrons and sure enough, it exploded and he had egg all over his face. The next day, he brought in corn kernels, placed them by the magnetrons and made popcorn! After understanding how the technology worked to cook these items, Percy Spencer went on to create the microwave oven!
And with that, it’s time to go enjoy a nice buttery bowl of microwave popcorn!
- Jenna Dhanani