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Microwave oven still working after 40 years

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Hum    6,933

LONDON - A microwave still going strong after more than 40 years and 150,000 meals is claimed to be the oldest still working in Britain.

The Panasonic oven dates back to the Sixties and has been used on a daily basis by proud owner Frederick Stephens ever since.

frederick_stephens_1245448c.jpg

Mr Stephens, a 78-year-old grandfather-of-four, paid ?250 for it at a time when microwaves were still "life-changing" additions to the family kitchen.

There were so few microwaves on the market, that Mr Stephens and his late wife Francis needed a demonstration on how to use it.

Incredibly, it has now survived four decades - and two young children - and has only ever broken down once when a simple lightbulb needed replacing.

Mr Stephens, from Cheltenham, Glos., said: "I use it all the time to heat up ready meals and to do my Horlicks before I go to bed every night. It's marvellous really.

"I'm so surprised it has lasted this long. It was a real novelty when we bought it as there weren't many around in those days.

"At the time it was life-changing and since then it's become one of those everyday things you wonder now how you could ever live without."

Mr Stephens bought the Panasonic NE-691 from an electrical shop in Gloucester and believes it must be the oldest in the UK still in everyday use.

He says the microwave has been a big help heating up his meals and nightly hot milks since he was widowed in 2005.

He said: "It's a slice of history and is amazing to think how long it's lasted. At the time of buying it there were so few around we had to have a demonstration in the shop on how to use it and it was like looking at the future.

"We must have eaten thousands of meals over the years which have been heated in it. Francis used to cook the Christmas puddings in it, and would make food in it for the kids.

"Even the shop which sold it has gone now, but the microwave itself is still going strong. We've definitely had our moneys worth.

"It's never had to have any sort of maintenance and the only thing that's ever gone on it is the lightbulb for the door, and even that only cost a couple of quid."

The world's first microwave oven was built in America in 1947, weighed 340kg, stood 6ft tall and cost $5,000.

source

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BoJo    0
He says the microwave has been a big help heating up his meals and nightly hot milks since he was widowed in 2005.

Kinda sad really :(

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Stonkwell Bogtrotter    124

Of all the referencies to the "Panasonic NE-691" on Google they all point to 1984/5 - the US patent was certainly 1984. So 1960's? Bullsh1t.

This is yet another case of news journos who do not know how to do proper re-search on stuff!

No wonder there is so much bull flying about.

Edited by artnada

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leesmithg    226

I get thew feeling someone is telling big fat porky pies.

Microwaves started to take off in Britain in around 1981, with adverts by Jimmy Tarbuck.

Anyway, it's a good story if true, as we live in a chuck away society these days.

Usually if used correctly a microwave can last a very long time, rather than crap TV's, DvD and VCR's.

I have seen a similar (might be the same) microwave and with that LCD display all the bells and whistles, I very much

doubt that is 1960's.

Microwaves I do believe had timer knobs rather than fancy pants LCD displays.

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Stonkwell Bogtrotter    124

I've had a Matsui 170TC Microwave for over 17 years now. It was "re-frubished" when I bought it for ?65 in 1991. It still has the same bulb too.:))

I bought it the same year my Son was born! And both are still going strong.(Y))

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Hum    6,933

I thought Amana radar ranges were from the 1960's ... no other brands. :huh:

In 1967, Amana, a division of Raytheon, introduced its domestic Radarange microwave oven, marking the beginning of the use of microwave ovens in home kitchens. Although sales were slow during the first few years, partially due to the oven's relatively expensive price tag, the concept of quick microwave cooking had arrived. In succeeding years, Litton and a number of other companies joined the countertop microwave oven market. By the end of 1971, the price of countertop units began to decrease and their capabilities were expanded.

http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/microwave.htm

In February 1987, Panasonic microwaves were introduced.

http://www.microwavecooking.com/Panasonic_Microwave.htm

Edited by Hum

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lalalawawawa    59

Now that is some quality product. :)

I have one at home (not by the same manufacturer) and it is doing well. Its as old as I am, my parents bought it way back in 1990.

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Steeley    9
Of all the referencies to the "Panasonic NE-691" on Google they all point to 1984/5 - the US patent was certainly 1984. So 1960's? Bullsh1t.

This is yet another case of news journos who do not know how to do proper re-search on stuff!

No wonder there is so much bull flying about.

You're exactly right. Silly old bugger is probably turning senile. Oh, and 150,000 meals in 40 years averages over 10 meals a day. What a load of rubbish.

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crazzy88ss    65

So I guess we've concluded that the microwave is only like 20 years old instead?

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Stonkwell Bogtrotter    124
You're exactly right. Silly old bugger is probably turning senile. Oh, and 150,000 meals in 40 years averages over 10 meals a day. What a load of rubbish.

40 (years) x 365 (days) = 14,600 (days) - so yeah, almsot 10.2 meals (uses) a day! lol

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Steeley    9

There are two problems with this story:-

1. Why it only took Neowinians only 5 minutes to debunk the story, yet a newspaper published it.

2. Why this is deemed newsworthy in the first place.

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leesmithg    226
There are two problems with this story:-

1. Why it only took Neowinians only 5 minutes to debunk the story, yet a newspaper published it.

2. Why this is deemed newsworthy in the first place.

It was posted here so us 'amateurs' could prove 'professionals' wrong.

So nuh!

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Steeley    9
It was posted here so us 'amateurs' could prove 'professionals' wrong.

So nuh!

Oh nothing against Hum posting it on Neowin. But why a newspaper would think this worth of its pages? Doesn't sound like a very credible newspaper.

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Nagisan    248
40 (years) x 365 (days) = 14,600 (days) - so yeah, almsot 10.2 meals (uses) a day! lol

10 uses a day is not that uncommon......you gotta figure, microwaves are used for more than heating up a meal. With 4 people, lets say him and his wife drink coffee throughout the day, that might be 3-4 uses right there.......lets say its winter and his kids are drinking a few cups of hot coco per day, theres another 3-4 uses. Now lets say there are at least 2-4 meals being heated (lunch and/or dinner for the family) theres 10 uses just right there. Chances are it wasn't 10 uses every day, but sometimes more and sometimes less......I agree in saying it probably wasn't 150,000 meals, but I wouldn't doubt 150,000 times of turning the microwave over on. Besides, he mentions in a quote "We must have eaten thousands of meals over the years which have been heated in it.".....chances are the 150,000 was just an estimate made by someone and sounded good so they stuck with it.

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Sethos    270

I got a mobile phone from 1822 that is still working today (Y)

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Hum    6,933

Well if Panasonic ovens were introduced in 1987, then 21 years is still very good usage.

Hope the news guys will print a correction. ;)

Maybe this guy has had a little too much exposure to microwaves ...

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DDStriker    19
Well if Panasonic ovens were introduced in 1987, then 21 years is still very good usage.

Hope the news guys will print a correction. ;)

Maybe this guy has had a little too much exposure to microwaves ...

hehe was just going to say if its that old the radiation wouldn't be doing him that good (older microwaves use to emit alot more radiation compared to more recent microwaves....don't quote me on this i heard it on discovery channel...may of misheard ^_^)

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Simon-    492

wow I really can't believe that such a story is really news worthy and why anyone would care.

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Lee G.    234

There's no way that microwave is from the 1960s. My family used to have a very similar looking Panasonic microwave, and that was from the 1980s.

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xXTOKERXx    0

I had one of those ovens, probably still in the old house

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.tony    0
wow I really can't believe that such a story is really news worthy and why anyone would care.

Indeed.

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GrimReeper    2
wow I really can't believe that such a story is really news worthy and why anyone would care.

So true, regardless of it is true or not why would anyone care other than the manufacturer? Lets hope other journalists don't keep writing "X still works after X years" stories :s

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Mouldy Punk    11

My parents recently had to get a new microwave. Their old one was going since 1983, but it broke and when the guy came over to fix it he said "I can fix it for you, but it's leaking so much radiation, you should probably just get a new one".

Good times...good radioactive times.

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