Thread Number: 57813  /  Tag: Small Appliances
1976? Litton Microwave 418
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Post# 802604   1/6/2015 at 14:40 (2,525 days old) by Classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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I hadn't planned on buying anything like this today, but I was at my local goodwill outlet and I spied this 'little' beauty hiding. It had knobs, a lovely retro look, and it was $5. Sold! It is a 1976? Litton microwave model 418. It didn't come with the book or a temperature probe or most importantly the glass plate for the bottom. I tried it out when I got home with the plate from my similar vintage Radarange. Still works like a champ. Does anyone happen to have a glass plate, probe or book for one of these?

Forgive the mess in the pictures, it doesn't appear to have been cleaned since Carter was president. Pictures were taken mid cleaning.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 5         View Full Size

Post# 802606 , Reply# 1   1/6/2015 at 15:19 (2,525 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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I had a similar but earlier model bought new, just that timer/clock thing along the top and an on/of defrost button and a start button. I'm really trying to think now but I don't remember it ever having a glass tray.

Post# 802608 , Reply# 2   1/6/2015 at 15:30 (2,525 days old) by Classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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Really? I thought they were standard practice back then. Intreating!

Post# 802611 , Reply# 3   1/6/2015 at 15:42 (2,525 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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That's the twin to the first microwave we had growing up.

Post# 802616 , Reply# 4   1/6/2015 at 15:48 (2,525 days old) by Classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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We had a mid 80s Kenmore push button model. It was nice, but I've always preferred knobs. I still want one of the first 4 models of Radarange with the big knobs eventually. On my long term list, but not right now unless they are nearby and crazy cheap!

Post# 802621 , Reply# 5   1/6/2015 at 15:54 (2,525 days old) by brib68 (Central Connecticut)        
Not much help, but...

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I think '76 is at least in the right neighborhood. My family's first microwave was probably bought around 1979 or so ('78 at the very earliest, but unlikely).

It was a Litton, and the graphics are similar/same--I remember the Vari-Cook graphic for the power level knob. Ours must not have had the temp probe, or else the probe operated differently, as we didn't have the Vari-Temp control. I do remember that I was aware of the concept of the probe--either from looking at the manual or maybe we actually had it. I think ours had a metal rack for cooking two things at once (but maybe I'm mixing it up with my first microwave/toaster oven combo). Our Litton had two big dials, kind of like a TV: one for the timer and one for the power level.

Mom's second microwave was also a Litton--mid-80's with touchpad controls. The same model as in the 2 Broke Girls' kitchen. IIRC, they bought it for their lake cottage, and when they sold the cottage, it replaced the original Litton at home.

Post# 802623 , Reply# 6   1/6/2015 at 15:58 (2,525 days old) by brib68 (Central Connecticut)        
oh yeah...

brib68's profile picture
This one probably wouldn't have had a glass plate. Ours just had the plain "floor". I don't really recall the plates except on Carousel-type microwaves.

Post# 802639 , Reply# 7   1/6/2015 at 16:37 (2,525 days old) by Classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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My Amana has a glass plate without the carousel... But you could be right on this one.

Post# 802649 , Reply# 8   1/6/2015 at 17:15 (2,525 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Had the step up model with the electronic controls, no glass plate.  Actually upgraded it 4 or 5 years after we bought it- the touch panel went out and installed the much newer version, work well for years after until we remodeled the kitchen when with otr ge.

Post# 802650 , Reply# 9   1/6/2015 at 17:23 (2,525 days old) by classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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November 1, 1976 price $439.95 ($1,825.92 with inflation today)

CLICK HERE TO GO TO classiccaprice's LINK

Post# 802652 , Reply# 10   1/6/2015 at 17:48 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

We had a Litton eye level microwave (2 oven stove).   True the microwave had a  metal rack it was "meal in one".  It also had a temp probe.   The bottom floor had a  sealed in place tray, it always looked like  pyroceram to me.  I still have the book that came with it.

Post# 802653 , Reply# 11   1/6/2015 at 17:56 (2,525 days old) by classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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Could you take a few pictures or scan some related pages for me?

Post# 802654 , Reply# 12   1/6/2015 at 18:03 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

Yes, I will.  In about 2 hours. 

Post# 802655 , Reply# 13   1/6/2015 at 18:09 (2,525 days old) by classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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Thank you!

Post# 802656 , Reply# 14   1/6/2015 at 18:17 (2,525 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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My parents bought the exact same model when I was a junior in college.  It didn't have a glass tray.  The nice thing about Littons back then.  Nothing to break.  It was integral to the oven cavity.  Unfortunately, my parents got rid of it in 2002 when they sold the house and moved into a retirement apartment.  It was still going strong then.  And it was heavily used--actually cooked things.  I have the cookbook that came with my model 510 I bought in 1978, but I'm not giving it up.  Your microwave is what's pictured on the front cover.  I love the chocolate moose recipe in it.  It's the only recipe I use and was the only way to make da mousse. 

Post# 802657 , Reply# 15   1/6/2015 at 18:20 (2,525 days old) by classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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I'll double check what I have when I get home. I'll take copies if you are willing to share! :)

Post# 802658 , Reply# 16   1/6/2015 at 18:21 (2,525 days old) by appnut (TX)        
Glass tray standard practice?

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Not back then.  GE, Litton, Panasonic didn't have glass trays. Amana was the only one in my college years that had glass tray (that could be broken) and I considered that a major knock against Amanas at the time--so did my parents.  Neighbor across the street had already shattered hers and had to replace it.  I always viewed a glass tray as a sign f being cheap rather than having the "glass" integral to the oven cavity floor.   Hence, my disdain for turntables in microwave3s that have become so common.  It's just another "cheapening" because Litton had very even heat distribution at the time. 

Post# 802668 , Reply# 17   1/6/2015 at 19:11 (2,525 days old) by xraytech (Rural southwest Pennsylvania )        

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I grew up with a 1984 JCPenney TOL microwave that was clearly a rebadged Litton with the touchpad. Ours lasted until 2007. Ours did have a glass tray.

Post# 802669 , Reply# 18   1/6/2015 at 19:20 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        
classiccaprice , here you go

Litton 1

Post# 802672 , Reply# 19   1/6/2015 at 19:24 (2,525 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Our 1979-ish Whirlpool had a ceramic tray integral to the cavity floor.

Post# 802673 , Reply# 20   1/6/2015 at 19:24 (2,525 days old) by classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        
Thank you!

classiccaprice's profile picture
It's a little hard to read because of the size. I'll see if I can make it bigger when I get home

Post# 802676 , Reply# 21   1/6/2015 at 19:54 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        
bigger I hope

Litton 2

Post# 802678 , Reply# 22   1/6/2015 at 20:04 (2,525 days old) by classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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Much! Thank you again! Any pictures of the inside in the book? I'd like to keep an eye out for the rack you mentioned.

Post# 802685 , Reply# 23   1/6/2015 at 20:29 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

2 of 12

Post# 802686 , Reply# 24   1/6/2015 at 20:32 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

3 of 12

Post# 802687 , Reply# 25   1/6/2015 at 20:35 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

4 of 12

Post# 802688 , Reply# 26   1/6/2015 at 20:36 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

Post# 802690 , Reply# 27   1/6/2015 at 20:39 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

5 of 12

Post# 802692 , Reply# 28   1/6/2015 at 20:41 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        
6 of 12

Post# 802693 , Reply# 29   1/6/2015 at 20:42 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

7 of 12

Post# 802694 , Reply# 30   1/6/2015 at 20:44 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

8 of 12

Post# 802695 , Reply# 31   1/6/2015 at 20:47 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

9 of 12

Post# 802696 , Reply# 32   1/6/2015 at 20:50 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

10 of 10

Post# 802697 , Reply# 33   1/6/2015 at 21:01 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

11 of 12

Post# 802700 , Reply# 34   1/6/2015 at 21:19 (2,525 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        
11 of 11

Classiccaprice,  I miscounted the pages 11 of 12  is all we photographed.  At least the table of contents is legible so if you would like something I missed just let me know...  I always liked this booklet from the early 80's.  No doubt  MW cooking was fast.  The Meal in One  system seemed like a heck of a lot of work. :-)  My aunt purchased the Litton in 1981 as you can see, she remodeled her kitchen in the early 1990's and passed it on to us.  It survived Hurricane Katrina ( we had a tree in our house), but no standing flood water.  Every feature still worked when we sold it with the house in 2009.  alr

Post# 802705 , Reply# 35   1/6/2015 at 21:48 (2,524 days old) by Classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        
Thanks ARL2903!

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That will be a great help. The interior shot looks very similar to the 85ish Kenmore that I grew up with. Mine has no hooks for it, so I guess no shelves in 76.

Lookie what I found... As I was cleaning it I had a vague feeling of familiarity. Turns out grandma had one and here's the cookbook for it that I saved from her estate! I forgot I had it! I hadn't seen hers since I was a kid... At least 20 years. Is this like yours Bob? We'll have to compare notes. This is the 8th printing from 1978 with a 1975 copyright.

  View Full Size

This post was last edited 01/06/2015 at 22:27
Post# 802711 , Reply# 36   1/6/2015 at 23:09 (2,524 days old) by whirlcool (Just North Of Houston, Texas)        

We have a 1977 Model 412 Litton oven. It's a Vari-Cook design and that cookbook you have is the one that came with ours.

Some Littons DID come with a glass removable floor. The way to tell if yours is one of those look at the floor of your oven. Does it have a depression in the floor that would hold about 1/2 of a quart of water? If you do, yours came with a glass plate. The metal floor models were totally flat. Ours had the glass floor which shattered one time while popping microwave popcorn. The glass for this oven has been totally unobtainium for years now. The best way to handle it would be go to a glass place and ask for a tempered glass plate about 1/4" thick in the size of the oven floor.

A guy in a microwave repair shop once did say that Litton came out with a conversion kit to convert the glass floor to a metal floor. All the kit contained was a flat teflon coated piece of metal and some silicone sealant. But with everything being so throwawayable these days I imagine these kits are in the same
situation the glass bottom plates are.

We last used ours about 4 years ago when our Kenmore MW died via power surge. It still works, but is definitely slower than our 1100W GE oven we have now. I believe the Litton's are rated at 750W.

Post# 802714 , Reply# 37   1/6/2015 at 23:34 (2,524 days old) by A440 ()        

I had the step up model from this one as my first Microwave. It was electronic. My brother and his wife at the time received two as a wedding present and he gave me one. It was a fantastic Microwave! I gave it to a friend when I moved and it is still in use!!!
It is amazing how big Litton was in the Microwave field during this time period. Everyone I knew had a Litton. My Mom had an Amana. (she still has it in her second kitchen) I also liked using her Amana.
The Litton I had did not have the glass insert in the bottom.
Nice Find!!! A friend of mind had your version. I love turning the nob to get the minutes you needed and watching it count down analog fashion.

Post# 802757 , Reply# 38   1/7/2015 at 09:12 (2,524 days old) by classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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Very cool!

Allen- I'm thinking this one may have had one of the conversion kits used on it. If you look at the 5th picture in the first post in this thread, you can see the floor appears to be raised slightly and it has silicone around it. Perhaps that is the way it was made, not sure... but yay for no glass to worry about!

Brent- I also have a 1976 Amana R-2... Perhaps I should do a consumer reports style test... :) Come to my house for all your bicentennial cooking needs... I really want an RR1-RR4 eventually, but then I think I'm going to have to wait for that one.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size

This post was last edited 01/07/2015 at 14:08
Post# 802799 , Reply# 39   1/7/2015 at 14:28 (2,524 days old) by whirlcool (Just North Of Houston, Texas)        

I think with the Litton ovens only the MOL-BOL models had the glass plates. Is the bottom of your oven metal or ceramic? They always looked ceramic to me. Your oven looks more MOL-TOL to me than ours is. But after the replacement floor was installed they looked exactly like the ones that came with the flat floor. At least you won't have to worry about the glass at all. So your oven looks just like the ones that came with a flat floor rather than the glass plate.

For some reason we were always partial to Litton ovens. In fact if they still made them we'd probably have one. But the GE model we have now we just love.

Does anyone know why Litton got out of the microwave business? They also sold a ton of microwave cooking accessories too. We still have a few Litton ceramic microwave pans that we still use.

Post# 802800 , Reply# 40   1/7/2015 at 14:36 (2,524 days old) by Classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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The bottom is metal. If anyone has a temperature probe with the old headphone style end, I'm interested!

Post# 802801 , Reply# 41   1/7/2015 at 14:38 (2,524 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Litton made some of the nicest tiny microwave ovens back in the 80's, the Little Litton's. I bought one when I got transferred to Calgary in 86 prior to us having all our belongings moved after my partner left his job and moved to join me. It was barely bigger than a shoebox and even had a grill feature. When our furnishings arrived I sold it to a friend.. wished I still had it. I think they got out of the biz because so many Japanese and Korean company's like Goldstart were flooding the market with ever cheaper models.

Post# 802807 , Reply# 42   1/7/2015 at 15:35 (2,524 days old) by whirlaway (Hampton Virginia)        
A different Floor in Mine!

I have a Tappan I bought new in Jan of 81,still has the original light bulb in it.It has a big timer knob,with 3 smaller buttons under it and a suspended glass floor.Its so easy to clean,never had a problem with it.I remember on the box it was written Microwave cooking since 1955!

Post# 802811 , Reply# 43   1/7/2015 at 17:20 (2,524 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Will, I just looked at my cookbook.  It's copyright 1975 and is the 6th edition.  And Litton Microwave business was headquartered in Minneapolis. 

Post# 802813 , Reply# 44   1/7/2015 at 17:33 (2,524 days old) by Classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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Thanks Bob. Please take a picture of the cover if you have a chance. One day we'll have to compare notes on the inside. :). Maybe some recipes changed. Now to find a probe!

Post# 802821 , Reply# 45   1/7/2015 at 18:01 (2,524 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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I noticed the cover photo was the same as yours. 

Post# 802823 , Reply# 46   1/7/2015 at 18:09 (2,524 days old) by Classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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No worries. Thank you anyway!

Post# 802876 , Reply# 47   1/8/2015 at 00:30 (2,523 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

Classicaprice,  I looked at the book again, I was hoping to find the part number for the probe.  I  do not have the part list.  Did you look on ebay?


edit:  There are 2 GE probes on ebay.    Also the AMANA Candymaker probe,  I don't know what is compatible or what oven units are rebadged.

This post was last edited 01/08/2015 at 01:03
Post# 802929 , Reply# 48   1/8/2015 at 07:36 (2,523 days old) by Classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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Hmm... I don't know either. Thank you! I'll check it out!

Post# 802933 , Reply# 49   1/8/2015 at 08:45 (2,523 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

You are most welcome!  I hope you find the whole outfit so you can use your "vari-cook"

Post# 803149 , Reply# 50   1/9/2015 at 20:31 (2,522 days old) by Classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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I got a probe! Looking forward to trying it out!

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