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"Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today -- but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all."
- Isaac Asimov

High-Frequency Oven  
  This describes the essence of a microwave.  

Heinlein didn't invent the idea of the microwave oven; Raytheon patented it in 1946 - see the entry for microwavable food for more details.

Theoretically every ration taken aboard a Patrol vessel is pre-cooked and ready for eating as soon as it is taken out of freeze and subjected to the number of seconds, plainly marked on the package, of high-frequency heating required.
From Space Cadet, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Scribner's Sons in 1948
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