Short Wave Craft Magazine, November 1933

"Cooking with Short Waves"

The cover of Short Wave Craft magazine from November, 1933, shows a novel application of radio waves: cooking!

In this painting, screen star Fifi D'Orsay (who?) is about to taste a delicious ham and cheese sandwich, heated in only seconds by high frequency currents in the 6-meter band.

In the words of the cover article, "This is probably the only basic advance in the art of preparing food for human consumption since cavemen, thousands of years ago, first burned meat over a fire and heated vegetables in crude vessels of boiling water."

"For cooking," the article continues, "the ultra high frequency current is made to pass from one pan-shaped electrode to another. The uncooked food is placed between two electrodes, directly in the path of the radio transmitter's power."

This demonstration was performed by Westinghouse engineers in their exhibit at the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. In addition to cooking, they show how radio power could light incandescent lamps and drive a 1/4-horsepower motor attached to a propellor from a distance of 30 feet.

Also noted was the heating effect on the human body when placed in the path of ultra-short radio wavelengths. Among the scientists present was I.E. Mouromtseff, Westinghouse director of ultra-short wave development.

Kids, Don't Try This at Home!

You have to wonder whether the scientists or members of the curious public suffered any lasting health effects from these demonstrations. Let's read a little more from a section entitled, "The Short-Wave Cocktail."

Among the unusual effects noticed in the "powercaster's" field, Mr. Mouromtseff believes the "radio cocktail" to be the most outstanding. When a person exposes his body to the ultra high frequency field he experiences an exhilaration that may be called a synthetic radio "jag." Over-exposure to the powerful field brings on a depressed feeling or "hangover."

The physical effect of the field is intensified many fold if the person improvises an aerial by holding a short piece of metal in each hand. His body immediately becomes noticeably warm.

In tests made under conditions of maximum heat, the body temperature was found to increase by one degree at the end of the first minute and to 105 degrees in about an hour. However, no one has continued the experiment beyond dangerous fever limits.

I will only note in passing that 105 degrees is the temperature at which the human brain begins to suffer damage and emergency measures are taken in modern medicine. Oh, well—they sure seemed to be having fun!

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