Sometime in 1954 I was sitting next to Jack
Records in a project review meeting in GE's Electronics Laboratory. Jack
was the manager of a radar project which was working on extending
microwave technology. In an aside to him during the meeting I asked him if
he ' d fired up the new magnetron yet as the vendor was calling me to get
his invoice paid - but I first needed to know if it was acceptable.
He laughed and said, "We fired it up this morning and a ham
sandwich in Joe's lunch, which was close to it, started cooking!".
Others at the conference table, who had overheard him, said
"What?" and snickered. "That's right"
Jack replied, "and I went out at lunch time and bought a steak to
put next to it. It cooked it too - and in just a few minutes!"
In the discussion that followed, the idea that we might be able to make
an oven to cook with microwaves, was quickly dismissed as:
1. Magnetrons were horribly expensive.
2. It didn't brown the meat, but cooked from the inside out, and the
cooked meat still looked raw.
CONSUMERS CERTAINLY WOULDN'T BUY IT!