It started as a byproduct of World War II.  It was noticed by an engineer that radar waves being targeted at an object that the waves actually melted the candy bar in his pocket.  And yes, from that seemingly innocuous event came the now indispensable kitchen item in almost every home in America....the microwave oven!

You know you are a Baby Boomer if you remember when the first microwave ovens made for home use were called Amana Radaranges....and cost $1,200. 

They came into wide usage in the late 1960s commercially and eventually ended up in more than 85% of all homes by the year 2000.  The cost of a brand new microwave oven today is generally under $100.

The long and winding road from the defense plant for Raytheon finds twists and turns along the way with the product company being bought by Amana than Goodman Global then Whirlpool.

Here is a hilarious vintage TV commercial for an early microwave oven.  It seems like a million years ago doesn't it?