Depending on the Internet for most of my information, I looked to see when the microwave oven started making its way into kitchens everywhere. Well it says they first became available to consumers in the late 60’s. They were called Electronic Ovens.
They never hit my radar until about 1977 or maybe it was 1978. Perhaps that’s when the first countertop models were introduced. Kenny and I had experienced a successful year and decided that would be the perfect gift for our wives for Christmas. We went out to find the very best we could afford.
We found what was reputed to be the very top of the line at Oscar Snowden’s Appliance Store. We went to the location on Research Blvd. Amana we were told had invented the microwave oven, so they must be the best. Of course with a smart phone and Google, it wouldn’t be so easy now for a salesman to make such a claim but then, it would have taken a trip to a library and a half day of research to verify such a claim. That being what it was, we each bought one. They called them the Amana Radar Range.
If you were within the reach of Austin Texas television waves back then you should remember Oscar Snowden and his wife who made those legendary TV commercials. He was married to a very petite blond lady. He was anything but petite. When they stood together it looked like a Refrigerator and a Counter Top Microwave standing there together. The Big “O”, as he was called, was big. I actually saw them at Hollingsworth’s Corner a few times, I think they had a place up that way, and it wasn’t some trickery of the camera that made them look that different in size.
Back to buying the microwaves. We bought them and a rolling cart each to put them on and the bill was over $1,200. That was $1,200 each. I’m not sure we either one told our wife what we had just done. Really nice automobiles didn’t cost but $5,000 in those days. And we brought home a package that we carried in the front door that cost $1,200.
Anyway, they turned out to be a hit with the gals, and life was never the same afterwards. Of course after a few years when those went out, we replaced them for about $100.