Annotated Bibliography

Primary Sources

Eva, Bill. “Microwave Ovens for the Home – How They Work and What to Look for in Selecting One.” Popular Electronics, July 1976, 39 – 42.

This primary source provides information regarding the history of the microwave, including the top ten microwave companies, and statistics about the increase of microwaves in home kitchens. It also provides insight as to what people were considering when shopping for a new microwave and helps shed light on what was popular.

Hadaway Jr., W.S. Automatically Controlled Electric Oven. U.S. Patent 574537 filed May 4, 1896 issued January 5, 1897.

The patent provided an illustration of the technology and how the oven worked.

Kafka, Barbara. Microwave Gourmet – The Only Microwave Cookbook You Will Ever Need. New York: William Morrow and Company Inc., 1987.

This source is one of the many cookbooks published which focuses on cooking entire meals using only the microwave. It illustrates how popular the microwave had become, since there was a clear market for these cookbooks.

Radarange Microwave Oven – by Amana. 1972. “Make the Greatest Cooking Discovery Since Fire.” Advertisement. Accessed February 19, 2017.

This advertisement from the early 70’s, when the microwave started taking off for consumers. The head line “Make the greatest cooking discovery since fire” embodies how important and revolutionary this invention was for the American kitchen.

Sahni, Julie. Moghul Microwave: Cooking Indian Food the Modern Way. New York: William Morrow & Co., 1990.

This book teaches people how to cook traditional Indian food in a modern and new way – using the microwave. It helps to represent how much of an impact the microwave oven had on American society, with respected chefs writing to teach about this new form of technology.

Salita, Lisa. Interviewed by Helen Salita. March 18, 2017. Transcript Helen Salita, Richmond, Virginia.

This interview discusses the impact and noticeable change in cooking and preparing food during Lisa’s lifetime. She was approximately fifteen when her family got their first microwave and speaks to the changes she witnessed personally.

Sharp, James. Baking Oven. U.S. Patent 305113 issued September 16, 1884.

The original patent for the electric oven, it provides the image of the original illustration and a description of how the oven worked.

Spencer, Percy. Method of treating foodstuffs. U.S. Patent 2495429 filed October 8, 1945 issued January 24 1950.

This source of the original patent for “Method of treating foodstuffs” by Percy Spencer was issued in 1945 and filed in 1950. This gives us a better sense of the timeline between Spencer and his invention and its competitors.

Stocklin, William. “Be Cool: Cook With a Microwave Oven.” Electronics World, July 1971, 44.

This primary source provides information about the early marketing and power of the microwave ovens. It also discusses the early safety features regarding this new technology.

Secondary Sources

Bramen, Lisa. “Cooking Through the Ages: A Timeline of Oven Inventions.” November 18, 2011. Accessed April 03, 2017.

Gives a timeline of how people cooked with different kitchen innovations.

Carr, Joseph J. Microwave & Wireless Communications Technology. Boston: Elsevier, 1996.

This source breaks down the makeup of the microwave by the individual parts, both tangible and cellular, to showcase the basic essentials of developing technology.

Cooper, Ken. “Microlessons: Toward a History of Information-Age Cuisine.” Journal of Technology Cuisine 36, no. 3 (2015): 579 – 609.

This article discusses how the technological companies behind new kitchen appliance such as microwaves sold specialized cookbooks in order to capitalize on their products and advance their industry. It also mentions some of the consequences associated with using microwaves.

Ganapati, Priya. “October 25, 1955: Time to Nuke Dinner.” Wired. Last Modified October 25, 2010. Accessed February 10, 2017.

This webpage traces the early history of the microwave including some if its antecedents. It compares the prices of its competition and antecedents.

Guenthner, Joseph, Biing-Hwan Lin, and Annette E. Levi. “The influence of microwave ovens on the demand for fresh and frozen potatoes.” Journal of Food Distribution Research 22, no. 3 (1991): 45-52.

This article examines the influence on the food market resulting from the microwave oven. Consumer food preferences and preparation habits adapted to this new invention and brought the development of microwave popcorn, pizza, and soup.

Gustaitis, Joseph. “The Explosive History of Popcorn.” American History 36, no. 4 (2001): 32 – 37.

This article explains how popcorn and microwaves are linked together and how the industries grew together.

Hammock, William. “Microwave.” American Heritage of Invention & Technology 25, no.3 (2010): 25 – 28.

This article examines the invention of the microwave and also traces the history of the Raytheon Company and its transition from making supplies for World War II to making household goods.

Hine, Claudia. “The Father of Modern Cooking.” Adhesive Age 40, no. 5 (1997): 66.

This article discusses that despite the fact that Percy Spencer invented the microwave, he did not profit much from it.

McFeely, Mary Drake. Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? American Women and the Kitchen in the Twentieth Century. Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 2000.

This book briefly mentions how the microwave was revolutionary in kitchens because it offered those who could not cook or did not have time to the ability to “cook” a meal. It also mentions how food writers created cookbooks specifically for microwaves.

McGee, Harold. On Food and Cooking – the Science and Lore of the Kitchen. New York: Scribner, 2004.

This source is a reprint of a 1984 cookbook, which explains both how microwave ovens work and also a brief history. It also provides cooking instructions for meats, fish, fruits and vegetables.

Microwave Oven Radiation. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed April 3, 2017.

This gives information on the public health concerns of using the microwave and the FDA’s cautions to what excessive radiation can do to your body.

Murray, Don. “Percy Spencer and His Itch to Know.” Reader’s Digest, 1958, 114.

This article from Reader’s Digest is written by Don Murray, a friend of Percy Spencer. Murray describes Spencer first hand giving us a personal look into his life and personality.

Osepchuk, J.M. “A History of Microwave Heating Applications.” Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on 32, no. 9 (1984): 1205

This journal gives photos of the original models of the Radarange Microwave Oven, more specific details of the antecedents, and the business strategy of Raytheon.

Ross, Rachel. “Who Invented the Microwave Oven?” Live Science. Last Modified January 5, 2017. Accessed February 19, 2017.

This webpage gives an in-depth account of the history of the microwave, from Spencer inventing it to the initial fears surrounding using it on the side of the public. It then talks about the eventual acceptance by the public and how it became one of the most widely used kitchen products.

Smith, Andrew F. Eating History – 30 Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

Eating History has a chapter describing the history of the microwave oven – including the story of how Percy Spencer discovered it, its various antecedents, and how it affected households.

Turner, Katherine, Strasser, Susan, Belasco, Warren, Boylan, Anne, and Mohun, Arwen. Good Food for Little Money: Food and Cooking among Urban Working -class Americans, 1875–1930, 2008, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

This dissertation gives insight to the social aspect of 18th and 19th century kitchens in upper class homes.

Tweedie, Steven. “How the Microwave Was Invented By a Radar Engineer Who Accidentally Cooked a Candy Bar in his Pocket.” Business Insider. Last Modified July 3, 2015. Accessed February 19, 2017.

This article features an interview with Spencer’s grandson as he recalls the process by which his grandfather invented the microwave.

Wilson, Bee. Consider the Fork – A History of How We Cook and Eat. New York: Basic Books, 2012.

This book features a section specifically examining the microwave. It covers its invention and early models and concerns, examines how prevalent the microwave is in today’s kitchens, and also talks about its ability to actually cook edible food quickly.