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Microwave Ovens - Part of Modern Kitchens Since 1967

Updated on January 30, 2010

1967 Amana Radarange

Even though microwave ovens have only been available since 1967, they are ingrained in modern life. I actually still remember when my parents purchased their first microwave, a few years after Amana first introduced the Radarange to the market. I think it made my mother happier than a new car!

I'm not sure why my parents didn't purchase one as soon as it became available. Cost might have been a factor. The very first microwave retailed for $495, which would translate into more than $2,000 in 2007 dollars.

That first microwave was like a little miracle in our kitchen, which was of course built long before thoughts of accommodating a countertop oven ever entered the mind of a builder or architect. My parents bought a stand for it, which had it's own special cubbyhole in the kitchen.

It changed the way meals were prepared, and definitely made life easier for my mom. Before we got the microwave, she would prepare dinner every night and "leave it on the stove" until my dad got home from work. If he was late, she'd be irritated about having to heat everything up for him. (Remember, this was the early 70's.) The microwave changed all that, and life was a little more peaceful for all of us.

The invention of the microwave oven changed the way meals were prepared, and had a significant impact on the packaged food industry and serving container industry. With the introduction and eventual widespread adoption of the microwave, microwaveable meals and microwave-safe containers became popular, much-demanded items.

2007 Amana Radarange

Microwave ovens have come a long way since 1967. The original model had two knobs and no buttons. Today's microwaves are electronic marvels, with pre-programmed settings for certain types of foods and levels of cooking. Many models have clocks, calendars, and nightlights. Some even have convection oven baking capacity.

Even though I can actually remember living in a household without a microwave, I can't imagine going without one now. I have a microwave installed above my stove that I use every day. There is one in the kitchen in my office, and it gets a lot of use too. There's even a built-in microwave in my Airstream Travel Trailer.

Free Microwave Cookbook

If you enjoy microwave cooking, you might want to download Amana's first online cookbook, published in honor of the 40th anniversary of the very first microwave oven. Visit to download your free copy of Fast Food Redefined: 40 Years Ago Amana Invented a New Way to Cook.


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