Barry Gordemer | KUOW News and Information

Barry Gordemer

Just like comedian Rodney Dangerfield, the microwave oven often gets no respect. Every kitchen has one, but no self-respecting cook would admit to using it for anything more than just heating up last night's pasta. But it's hard to deny the influence the food-nuker has had on American life, and this year marks 50 years since its arrival.

The first countertop microwave was the Amana Radarange, which debuted in 1967 and sold for $495. It's the appliance that made zapping your food as routine as brushing your teeth.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

I'm Renee Montagne and - David - David, are you there?

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The United Nations has declared Friday World Radio Day in celebration of radio's unique status as a "simple and inexpensive" technology with the power to reach even the most remote, marginalized communities.

But we wondered — in this digital age, how hard is it to find a simple, inexpensive radio?

Our journey took us to several stores in Washington, D.C., in search of a portable and affordable radio, as well as to the National Capital Radio and Television Museum in Bowie, Md.