Percy Spencer, just after the end of World War II, was working on a power tube for the Raytheon Corporation. Nothing might have come of it, if it weren’t for one heroic chocolate bar that gave its life for modern society.
The magnetron was designed to power radar sets. Obviously these were important during the war, and after the war, Raytheon wanted to continue their research, taking advantage of the booming economy. While Spencer worked, he walked in front of the tube. This was not wise move, but Spencer might not have known how inadvisable it was had he not had a chocolate bar in his pocket. It’s not clear whether he decided soon after that it was time for a snack or whether he felt something warm and trickly in his pants and looked down to see alarming brown liquid. Either way, he noticed that the chocolate bar had turned to goo.
I've heard all different versions of this. In fact, this article is the first time I've read them all from the source going on to say,
Being an inquisitive sort, he grabbed some popcorn kernels, put them in a bag, and waved them in front of the tube. The kernels popped without any discernable heat being applied to them. Still not satisfied, he grabbed an egg and waved it front of the tube. It exploded all over a colleague (who was hopefully not also in front of the tube). It was clear they were on to something.
The one commonality is always someone had something edible in their pocket and it melted and microwaves were discovered and found to be applicable for foods? Is this true, or urban legend?