Microwaves cook and heat food, boil water and pop popcorn and aren't harder on food than the stove. Credit: GE
Live Science: Who Invented the Microwave Oven?
A microwave oven is a kitchen appliance that is in nearly every U.S. home — 90 percent of households have one, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the touch of a couple of buttons, this ubiquitous device can boil water, reheat leftovers, pop popcorn or defrost frozen meats in mere minutes.
The microwave oven was invented at the end of World War II. Yet it took awhile for them to catch on. At first they were too big and expensive, and people didn't trust them because of the radiation they use. Eventually, technology improved and fears faded. By the 2000s, Americans named the microwave oven as the No. 1 technology that made their lives easier, according to J. Carlton Gallawa, author of the Complete Microwave Oven Service Handbook.
And it was all due to a happy accident with some melted chocolate.
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CSN Editor: I am old enough to remember the microwave was an oddity that no one could afford to have. Today .... I own 2 of them ... one in my home and one at my chalet .... and all for around $100 per.