What Year Was The Microwave Invented?

What Year Was The Microwave Invented? Title

What year was the microwave invented? 1946. That’s the simple answer; the microwave was invented in 1946, just after the conclusion of the Second World War.

Percy Spencer is credited with coming up with the technology that is now used in millions of homes around the world.

The original microwave technology was based on radars developed during WWII. Originally termed radar range, the classic microwave that we’ve come to know however, did not begin to take shape for many years later.

Where Was The Microwave Invented?


Percy Spencer, the original inventor of the microwave, was based in Massachussets, United States. He worked for Raytheon which was a contractor for the Department Of Defence. The technology used to power radar during World War II was based on magnetrons which later became the basis for microwave ovens and still are to this day.

When was the first microwave oven sold in stores?

The first set of commercial microwaves released in the 1950’s were far too large to be used at home. It was not until the 1960’s when microwaves that could be feasibly used in the home began to surface.

What Year Was The Microwave Invented For Home Use?

Microwaves for the home were developed as early as the 1950’s but were quite expensive for the average household.

In the 1970’s Sharp introduced low cost microwave models that grew in popularity and spread across the globe.

Even to this day, Sharp remain a significant player in the microwave market. In the UK they are the 3rd most popular brand behind Panasonic and Samsung.

What Did The First Microwave Look Like?

The first commercial microwaves produced in the 1940’s and 1950’s were significantly larger than those in use today. Some were as tall as a fully grown adult male and were quite bulky as they were designed to be used in commercial settings rather than homes.

Microwave Timeline

  • 1946: Technology application for the microwave credited to Percy Spencer
  • 1950’s: First commercial and domestic microwaves released
  • 1960’s: Microwaves for home use become somewhat more widely available
  • 1970’s: Microwave sales begin in the UK
  • 1980’s to now: Microwave usage across the globe grows significantly

Microwave Vital Statistics

Since they were sold for household use in the 1960’s microwaves have gone on to play a big part in kitchens around the world. Below we take a look at some of the most interesting statistics on microwaves:


  • 13.9 million microwaves were forecast to be sold in the US alone in 2019.
  • $2.95 per consumer unit was spent on microwaves by renters in 2018.
  • $10.88 per consumer unit was spent on microwaves by home owners in 2018.
  • $345.3 million was spent on microwave cookware in 2019.
  • In a survey in 2017, 61% of respodents said they would purchase their smart microwave again.

Source: Statista


  • As of 2018, 93% of UK households owned a microwave. This figure was up from 1994 when 67% owned a microwave.
  • In 2018, around 373,000 people in the UK spent £150 or more on microwaves in the prior 12 months
  • In the UK in 2018, the following 3 were most used microwave brands:
    • Panasonic – 5 million users
    • Samsung – 2.4 millions users
    • Sharp – 2.3 million users

Source: Statista


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