Microwave Oven Invented by Accident. It Changed Cooking Forever: The Microwave Oven. Dr. Percy Spencer was working on a wartime radar research project during World War II when he discovered an invention more suitable for peacetime. While working with a magnetron, a vacuum tube that produces microwave radiation, he noticed that a candy bar he had in his pocket melted. Intrigued, Dr. Spencer then experimented with some popcorn kernels and an egg. He discovered that microwave radiation cooks foods much faster than cooking with heat. He made a metal box in which he left an opening for the microwaves to enter but not escape. When placing foods inside the box he was able to concentrate the microwaves and thus cook foods even quicker.
The company he was working for at the time, the Raytheon Corporation, produced the first commercial microwave oven in 1954 and the first domestic version was made by a Raytheon division Amana in 1967. Microwave ovens became household items and changed the face of food preparation forever.