8 Popular Modern Products Made Possible By War

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Imagine an alternate universe where there was no war. Only love, peace, and harmony. But this world would also lack Hot Pockets, which is a terrifying thought. See, a lot of the wonder inventions that we enjoy today only exist because World War I and II made them possible. While it’s almost certain that all of these would have eventually come into being regardless, the wars certainly sped up the process. With that in mind, here is a look at 8 such products.

 

 

1. Microwaves
Quick, what’s for lunch today? If you answered, “A microwavable burrito that I bought at a gas station, as usual” you are correct! You can indirectly thank World War II and self-taught engineer Percy Spencer for your refined culinary tastes. While working on radar technology, he noticed one day that a candy bar in his pocket had melted. After investigating, he discovered that it was the result of magnetrons, which were used to generate microwave radio signals. He experimented with heating food such as popcorn and eggs, and realized he was on to something. Eventually, he attached an electromagnetic field generator to an enclosed metal box and the microwave was born.

 

 

2. Disposable Syringes
During the Civil War and through World War I, troops who were wounded on the battlefield had to deal with the pain until they could be wheeled off to the medical tents to be injected with morphine via glass and metal syringes. By World War II, these had been abandoned in favor of a plastic version, which were supplied directly to the soldiers. Since they were so compact, they could be prefilled with a single dose of morphine. Today, of course, these syringes are the standard for administering medical injections


3. Freeze Dried Foods
J.R. Simplot was a high school dropout. But not the kind who lived in his parents’ basement and played XBOX One all day long. No, this was like 70 years before high school dropouts were able to do things like that. Instead, he used his time productively. In particular, he created a freeze dried process for potatoes and vegetables that made it easy to feed the Allied soldiers as they advanced through Europe. Once the war ended, Simplot signed a contract with Ray Kroc (the guy who made McDonald’s what it is today) and today 50% of the world’s supply of McDonald’s French fries comes from the potato empire that Simplot founded.

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