The Melted Spark of this Invention
A lot of what we know about how things were invented is the result of historical telephone. You know, the game where one person whispers a sentence to someone else, they, in turn, whisper it to the next person, and by the time it reaches the end of the line it barely resembles what was first said.
The invention of the microwave is credited to self-taught engineer Percy Spencer in the 1940s. It is widely thought that it was the melting of a chocolate bar in his pocket that was exposed to the power of a magnetron tube that sparked the chain of events leading to the machine most Americans have on their countertops. Over time the story has been told and retold, some disputing that fact, that it was a peanut cluster bar that melted. Popular Mechanics interviewed Spencer’s grandson who insists it was, in fact, peanut clusters that melted, making it even more impressive considering chocolate has a much lower melting temperature.
No matter what it was that sparked the invention, at the Chocolate Truffle we love a good story, we love a good chocolate bar, and we love a good invention. The coming about of the microwave certainly is an interesting story.
Spencer was working at Raytheon as a highly impressive problem solver. While trying to improve power levels of radar magnetrons, all that work gave him an appetite. He reached into his pocket for a snack (imagine for yourself whether it was peanut clusters or chocolate) and low and behold it had melted into an utterly unrecognizable, unsackable mess.
For an engineer, all this would do is fire a few synapses to figure out how on earth this could happen. Cut to Spencer putting an egg in close proximity to the magnetron tube and it exploding…followed by popcorn kernels that created a more delicious, less explosive snack for the Raytheon crew.
A year later, the first microwave oven known as the “Radarange” (a bit heavy, bulky, and expensive) was born. With a few revisions, downsizes, and decades, the microwave oven became a hit in 1967 and has been one ever since.
Whether or not chocolate was the catalyst for the microwave, it has always been the mother of invention for us here at the Chocolate Truffle. And we love what peanuts do for chocolate too! We strive to come up with new, and delicious, ways to spark your creativity and wake up your taste buds!