Thread Number: 34961
Microwave Oven Collectors? 1969 Oven Available
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Post# 523352   6/8/2011 at 13:05 (2,630 days old) by Blackstone (Springfield, Massachusetts)        

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Anybody know of any collectors of microwave ovens? I have a 1969 Tappan Electronic Oven that I have been trying to sell for the longest time, and I'm just about ready to take it apart for scrap. It works, and it's heavy. I even bought a manual for it on eBay, hoping that would be a good selling point. There seems to be a collector for just about anything, but this one has me frustrated. Any leads on how to sell this thing would be appreciated.

Post# 523365 , Reply# 1   6/8/2011 at 14:11 (2,630 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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JEEZ LOUISE! I never thought I'd see one of these again! My folks were literally the first people on the block to get a microwave in the late 60s and by gum, this was it! I remember it was pretty easy to use and the neighbours joked about how it would dim the streetlights in our vintage-50s tract-housing development!
I am seriously out of room (I concentrate on dishwashers as far as collecting goes) but shoot, you're like 4 hours drive from me in Ogden...
I may just be emailing you for more information on this.
BUT there may be someone else in the US who may be interested and I would not want to get in their way!

Post# 523482 , Reply# 2   6/9/2011 at 01:38 (2,629 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Paul, microwave ovens don't take too much space! I'm sure you'll be able to hide it somewhere!

Post# 523500 , Reply# 3   6/9/2011 at 07:23 (2,629 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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Hi Fred thats the one that I was trying to get your mom to sell me the frist time I was there. This is probably the frist Tappan counter-top MW oven. These are safe and relilable to use today but only put out about 650 watts of cooking power. Paul you really need this you could always put it in the bedroom for warming up snacks and toys LOL. 


In any case it shouldn't get scrapped it is definitely a great piece of American history from the company that was first to market MW ovens to the public around 1955.

Post# 523510 , Reply# 4   6/9/2011 at 08:37 (2,629 days old) by Blackstone (Springfield, Massachusetts)        

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My sentiments exactly--it should not be scrapped. John, I honestly don't remember your interest in this microwave, but it was on the shelf in the store for a long time. I believe that my uncle brought it back from California back in the 1980s. California must have been ahead of the times for new technology.

Another photo. I always like the nuclear logo on the front panel.

Post# 523716 , Reply# 5   6/10/2011 at 09:34 (2,628 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Fred, I have sent you an email regarding the microwave. As fate would have it, I will be very close to Springfield next Saturday...
Stay tuned...

Post# 523731 , Reply# 6   6/10/2011 at 10:13 (2,628 days old) by Blackstone (Springfield, Massachusetts)        

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Received and acknowledged.

Post# 523746 , Reply# 7   6/10/2011 at 11:52 (2,628 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Thank you Fred! It looks like I will be reunited with a machine from my youth!!

Post# 525755 , Reply# 8   6/20/2011 at 09:01 (2,618 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Got it!!

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I made a point of stopping in Springfield on my way to pick up the "some assembly required" Whirlpool dishwasher to also pick up this classic microwave. I had forgotten that the timer dial lights up - gotta love that! I didn't have the chance to take photos of it now its in Ogden, but when I saw my father yesterday, he just could not believe that I found this. That was AFTER he was questioning my sanity about the dishwasher collection, of course... LOL
It was a pleasure to meet Fred and even though we chatted only a short while, it was great to absorb some of his vintage appliance memories and experience - thank you, sir!!

Post# 525762 , Reply# 9   6/20/2011 at 09:49 (2,618 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Neato... now if I could just find my first mw oven circa 1975. It was a Toshiba 500, all metal heavy tank as well. I believe it said "electronic oven" on it as well.

Post# 971722 , Reply# 10   12/5/2017 at 12:58 (258 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
Six years later ...strolls into the party late

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I just watched PhilR's Tappan MW like this one, in action. Could there be another for a begging poster like me? I would love to find one of these oldsters. So I know 2 eyes are going to look longer and have fewer contacts, than asking anyone out there...for leads. There are better microwaves and there are better solutions for cooking or microwaving,but I'm in love with the design and would love this one as something to just enjoy...even if I only heat water.

Thanks to the archives here and best wishes for a good holiday this year...and thank you anyone for any leads.


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Post# 971727 , Reply# 11   12/5/2017 at 13:07 (258 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Phil, it's the same microwave oven that travelled North!

1971 Tappan Electronic Oven

Post# 971731 , Reply# 12   12/5/2017 at 13:58 (258 days old) by Blackstone (Springfield, Massachusetts)        

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Wow! 6+ years ago; this brings back memories.

Post# 971873 , Reply# 13   12/6/2017 at 06:14 (257 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
I have always had a soft spot for cool MWOs

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We currently have about 30 interesting MWOs dating from 1958 all the way through 2008, in the museum kitchen we currently have 13 installed and working.


We also have around 15 or so counter-top MWOs dating back to around 1968, I have not quite figured out how to display these MWOs and where.


MWOS after the mid 60s are are very practical and safe to use, the only slight downside is they use about 50% more power to do the same amount of cooking as MWOs built in the last 15 years or so, I still use my 1972 Amana RR-4 almost every day along with a 2003 full sized GE counter-top model and the MW in the Thermador CMT-21 wall oven, I think that any well equipped kitchen should have at least three MWOs, my brother Jeff also has three in their kitchen.


John L.

Post# 972081 , Reply# 14   12/7/2017 at 04:35 (256 days old) by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        

I never use the one I have except to melt butter. Lol

Post# 972141 , Reply# 15   12/7/2017 at 12:52 (256 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Blackstone - Fred, do you have any cousins or friends who happen to have this Tappan laying around collecting dust? I know the answer, but a beggar can't be blamed.

PhilR- it sure looks a lot cleaner than the original; must have been just a little surface dust, etc. I had a funny feelling it might be the same one. I understand, my tradeables are nearly nil.

JohnL(Combo52) - speaking of three microwaves in a kitchen, we use 2. I would add a third if there was room,but I just found a Breville 800XL at the thrift and set it in the corner. Amana and GE MW's. Two kitchens would's out of sight,nevermind.

Hans - heating butter! LOL! I heat water, potatoes, veggies,and reheat food sometimes...wife loves both and resists when I say, "we should just one microwave". Sidenote: I glow in the dark in case I get lost in the woods.

I really don't expect to find that Tappan and

Post# 972175 , Reply# 16   12/7/2017 at 16:08 (256 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Paul gave it to me as it wouldn't heat anymore. I was able to fix it, I'm not even sure how! I think one of the microswitches were dirty! I did buy a spare magnetron for it just in case that was the problem but it wasn't!

I spent some time detailing it at the same time but it wasn't in bad condition at all!

Among all the microwave I have, this one is one of a few that's not an Amana-based model (I do have one Panasonic, another Litton rebadge as a "Speed Queen" and 3 GE/Hotpoint in addition of the Amana and GM Frigidaire ovens). It has to be my favorite for it's style.

While it's a bit less powerful than my old Amanas, I have to say this one doesn't seem to leak any radiation measured with my cheap meter! Most others do leak some, even newer (less than 10 years old) microwave ovens that I tested!

As for the production date being in 1971, I am not 100% sure about it but I doubt it could have been made before October of 1970.
I don't remember if I saw a date code when I opened it. I think I based my assumptions on the sticker below that relates to regulation number in the quoted text from this link:

"On October 6, 1970, FDA publiched in the Federal
Register a final regulation (42 C.F.R. 78.212 (1971)) setting
forth a performance standard for microwave ovens. The
regulation applies to ovens which operate in the freauency
range of 890 to 6,000 MHz and which are used in homes,
commercial establishments, and interstate carriers. The
standard provides that no oven manufactured after October 6,
1971, shall emit a level of radiation in excess of 1 mW/cm2"

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Post# 972214 , Reply# 17   12/7/2017 at 19:56 (256 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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It looks like a rebadged Litton to me.

Post# 972235 , Reply# 18   12/7/2017 at 21:25 (255 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        
Litton Microwaves

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We got a Litton 540 "Meal-in-One" in 1978, along with some of that Litton microwave cookware like the bacon rack, omelet maker and cupcake pan.  I'm not sure why we got a nearly TOL microwave because we sure didn't have much money.  I guess my mother decided that if she was going to learn microwave cooking it might as well be with a good oven.


And good it was...a well thought-out machine with intuitive, easy-to-use electronic controls.  It lasted 24 years of nearly daily use without a repair.  Then the control panel finally went bad. 


I thought about saving it for repair but was living in an apartment at the time with no storage.  I would love to have it in my kitchen today.


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Post# 972262 , Reply# 19   12/7/2017 at 23:16 (255 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
The Best Accidents

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It wouldn't heat and you fixed it but you don't know how? LOL. It reminds me of my recent fix on a BSR TT and getting it to cycle again....just fiddled with it over and over and (yawn)over again til it worked.

Am I the only one who is intriqued - entertained, more like - by the atomic symbol and the friendly

"NOW COOKING" message.

Ideally, if I had the skills...this "Now Cooking" would appear only when the MW was working and at the same time a single electron would follow the orbit around the nucleus which should PULSATE with the words "now cooking" in sync.

With another magnetron, it should last til the last Jedi returns from Adromeda.

Post# 972299 , Reply# 20   12/8/2017 at 07:08 (255 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
The Litton Meal-In-One MWO

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I was working for a Litton dealer in 1978 when these came out and I remember getting a brand new one for my first boyfriends parents for an Christmas gift that year.


Unfortunately the quality of Litton appliances was not great even back then compared to other brands like Amana and MWOs coming from Japan.


Around 1976 Litton started building 30" electric ranges with a micro-combination oven, it was a great concept but the quality of the basic range was the pits, you name it from cheap plastic knobs to wiring failures, almost everything went wrong.


We have the very rare Litton Hi-Low range in the museum kitchen that actually has the combination main lower oven and an additional top MWO above the cook-top, I believe it is the only cooking appliance ever built to have TWO MWOs in one appliance.


Litton did them selves in in the mid 80s when they would not negotiate with their workers in Minnesota on a new Union contract. So they moved the factory to South Dakota and went out of business shortly thereafter.


John L.

Post# 972303 , Reply# 21   12/8/2017 at 07:35 (255 days old) by Blackstone (Springfield, Massachusetts)        

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Your premonition is correct. I don't have this beast.

My unit originally came from California. Sold it to a very appreciative turquoisedude.

Post# 972362 , Reply# 22   12/8/2017 at 11:22 (255 days old) by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
Was it actually a meal in one?

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Seems like the roast would come out tough and not browned. Some foods just have to be cooked in thermal ovens.

Post# 972386 , Reply# 23   12/8/2017 at 14:11 (255 days old) by leefree (Los Angeles)        
You'd be surprised

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I dived in to early microwave cookery on a quest to, as Amana advertised for their Radarange, "make the greatest cooking discovery since fire." You can make just about anything in a microwave except hard boiled eggs and have it come out indistinguishable from cooking by conventional methods. Breads and cakes, traditional lasagne, beef stew, coffee (yes, proper brewed coffee) even beef roasts will brown properly and cook correctly because of the relatively extended cooking time of 25-30 mins that they require.

BIG CAVEAT: you have to completely rethink the way you cook, modify most processes (i.e. finish some items under the broiler), and acquire the right accessories. If anyone wants to know what accessories Amana EVER made and how they worked, thanks to eBay I've acquired them all over the years!) Getting to the point where your nose isn't in a cookbook or a manual all the time takes total commitment and it might have actually worked if American kitchens hadn't retained all the conventional tech that humans have been cooking with for centuries. Amana went completely down the rabbit hole with their later machines with complicated (for the early 80's) cooking programs that could be keyed through and monitored with temp probes to go from frozen to table - I've tried them a couple of times but they produced mixed results - it was a leap that the technology wasn't quite ready for. Ultimately, it's easier to do what we know when we're hungry and that's how we ended up with oversized, really inefficient water reheaters in our kitchens.

But, if we run out of natural gas and get trapped in a house sandwiched between a hydroelectric dam and a supermarket that only has a microwave - I'm ready! 😂

Post# 972387 , Reply# 24   12/8/2017 at 14:14 (255 days old) by leefree (Los Angeles)        
Forgot my point!

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I've been on the hunt for and early 70's Tappan microwave. This one listed is a terrific find. Thanks for bringing it to AW!

Post# 972459 , Reply# 25   12/9/2017 at 01:03 (254 days old) by superocd (PNW)        
WAIT, there was a SPEED QUEEN-branded MICROWAVE???

Though the name does make sense. Microwaves are primarily for speed cooking. I do know that SQ was owned by McGraw-Edison before being handed off to Raytheon and then Alliance), was Litton a McGraw-Edison company?

Speaking of microwaves, I've got a three year old Whirlpool OTR microwave that will be replaced with a Broan APE130SS hood with 440 whopping CFMs (compared to the anemic CFMs an OTR maintains, probably less than 150), so I will soon need a countertop microwave. I'm thinking about getting a Panasonic. The Kenmores have received bad reviews. I won't touch any of the ones at Walmart or Target. Just about everything else seems to rust out and there are countless reviews about dead control panels and the microwave not heating before the warranty is up.

The Whirlpool I have now works great, it just has a weak vent (and yes, it is most definitely vented outdoors, a straight run of about six feet from the cabinet above through the roof). I just can't put up with the weak exhaust. I'm going to take it to Habitat for Humanity so someone could use it. It will be the cleanest one there because I've never fried anything in the house or let splatters build up inside, lol.

Post# 972560 , Reply# 26   12/9/2017 at 10:44 (254 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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combo52/John -


Thanks for the background on Litton.  I had no idea anyone ever made a full-sized oven with a microwave built in!


neptunebob -


Was it really a Meal-in-One?  I guess so, because its claim to fame was the large size and metal rack so you could pack in several dishes to be microwaved at once.  It also had a temperature probe for roasts so it could be programmed to shut off or change cooking power as the meat progressed.  As leefree suggests, when you loaded several items the cooking times were very long so the meats did brown.


It came with a cookbook, I can remember my mother trying a few of the complete meals.  I don't remember them as disasters but after the novelty wore off she eventually returned her old style of cooking and our "Meal-in-One" operated for most of its life without the rack installed...just serving as a way to heat/reheat food as any regular MWO.  Still, it was great marketing for Litton, I'll give them that.


I can remember having great fun with it the first couple of months trying out the specialty cookware. 


I was the stereotypical GenX latchkey kid so MWO sure saved a lot of energy compared to heating the regular oven for pizza rolls and frozen dinners.  Also interesting to me at the time was all of the new frozen foods in the stores for MWO and even the old brands trying to become MWO friendly. 

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Post# 972873 , Reply# 27   12/10/2017 at 18:08 (253 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
Reply #18 and more

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MW get a bad rap if you look at some of's postings and the web, but I never invested in them for meal cooking. Yet, Litton's marketing and meal-in-one concept in photographs looks very Jetsonian, doesn't it?

I love cookbooks. For some crazy reason, and I admit it was, I went to used bookstores and thrifts a few years ago and found and collected various MW cookbooks, both general and branded. As you said, Jim(and thanks for the Litton YouTube video link, it reminded me how easy it looked to make a meal when you do have to learn a whole new way to cook, really. And I'm not inviting a debate - MW works for some things, sometimes for us and the designs are often (like Amana and this Tappan posted by Blackstone)design eye candy for some of us.

Fred - Thanks, I know Paul and Phil and it went to a good home. I'm going to just hope a fluke find happens for me and ask all I've helped or at least, maybe helped(?) here through the past 4-5 years in finding some things they wanted, to keep an eye out for me and PM me, FB messenger, or just give me a notice to contact you if you find this Tappan model. I'm understanding, many would prefer to keep something like this Tappan.

Not all related to Tappan, but fun to view:

1) The music is soothing, even if the food might not be?

2)An English (Great Britain) narrator introduces MW ovens...what we know now was so new once before:

3)Pennywise - Grampian TV - 1985 - Retro Microwave 500 vs 700 watts MW and a convection in 1985 @ 400 GPB (1,141 GB today or $1536 today)

and there's plenty of others that have been posted in MW threads here at

Post# 972883 , Reply# 28   12/10/2017 at 19:45 (253 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        
Great videos!

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That first Frigidaire video is great!


Not only the music, but her look of absolute triumph at 2:30 just makes the whole thing!

Post# 972921 , Reply# 29   12/11/2017 at 00:14 (252 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Here's the thread about my Speed Queen microwave oven.

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