Commodities: U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for October 25: Making Waves

Sun Oct 25 00:01:00 2015 EDT

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- 

Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:

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MAKING WAVES

Profile America -- Sunday, October 25th. A melted candy bar led to the invention of one of today's most-used kitchen appliances. Percy Spencer of the Raytheon company was working on a military radar device in the mid-1940s when he noticed that his snack had gotten soft. Intrigued, he experimented with irradiating some kernels of popcorn, which promptly burst. Further work led to the first microwave ovens, which cost only a little less than a new car. On this date in 1955, the first consumer models were introduced, but they required installation and cost $1,200. Countertop models came along in 1967. Now, most homes across the country have microwave ovens, and about a half million have only the microwaves for cooking. Manufacturing microwave ovens and other cooking appliances is a $5 billion a year business. Profile America is in its 19th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sources:Kane's Famous First Facts, 4303Microwave inventor: http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blmicrowave.htm Inflation calculator: http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm First consumer model and cost: http://www.rsvlts.com/2014/08/12/early-adopter-costs/ Home appliances: http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=AHS_2013_C03AH&prodType=table Manufacturing/NAICS 335221: http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ASM_2013_31VS101&prodType=table

Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).

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SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau

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