As we celebrate those that have served our country on this upcoming Memorial Day I thought it would be fun to see military technology that has become part of our everyday lives.
During World War II, freeze drying was used to preserve medical supplies such as blood plasma and penicillin which equired refrigeration but of course that was impossible in most situations. So, next time you enjoy some Dippin' Dots you can thank this technology.
Celebrating it's 75th birthday this year, Duct Tape was originally invented for the military as way to keep water out of ammunition cases. Enterprising soldiers quickly realized that it work well for tons of other things too. It was originally called Duck Tape but when the HVAC industry used it for duct work, the name evolved. Today of course it's a ubiquitous household supply and even used to make things like wallets and purses!
Dr. Percy LeBaron Spencer, a veteran himself, was researching radio and radar technology during World War II while working at Raytheon. In 1945 he was standing near a magnetron and noticed that a candy bar in his pocket melted. Piquing his curiosity, he then experimented with popcorn kernels and then an egg. This lead to the development of the Magnetron-Powered Oven for Cooking. It was first sold for commercial use weighing in at a paltry 750 pounds, nearly 6 feet tall and costing $3k. For reference, that would be about $31k today or about 413 times more expensive than an average microwave at Target!