My mom recently* replaced a microwave that she bought ca. 1986. She was very happy to find that built-in turntables are much more common now than they were when she bought her last one. Somewhat less happy to find out that the “popcorn” button on her new one left her with a bag of cinders and a house full of stank.
My parents remodeled their kitchen in 1987 (at the time, my mother was working for a kitchen-remodeling company). The cabinetry included a big cutout, above the conventional oven, for a microwave oven; they put a then-new, very big GE microwave oven in there, which looked something like this.
That microwave finally gave up the ghost a year or two ago, so it was ~30 years old when it died. They replaced it with a new one, but it only takes up about 60% of the cabinet space that the old one did, so it’s now this big, semi-empty space.
Back in 2005 I stayed in a vacation rental in Maui, the sort of place where the house is split up in to two separate apartments and the owner lives in one unit and rents out the other to tourists. The microwave in the kitchenette in our unit was an actual probably 1970s vintage Amana Radarange, the original microwave oven. This thing had two big knobs on the front, one for the timer and one to set the power level. Of course at the time it would have been no older than the one in the OP, and I would be surprised if it was still there today.
I also have a Sharp Carousel of about the same vintage as the OP. I don’t remember which year I bought it, but some time in the mid-80s. The last time I mentioned it here on the Dope, I said it was working perfectly. I regret to report that that’s no longer true.
Just in the last month or so, one of the 7-element digits on the display no longer displays correctly. The horizontal elements of the tens digit don’t light up as brightly as they use to, although the vertical elements are still fine.
my dad had one about 1982 the ones that were huge maybe 500 watts …when they were supposed to supplant the stove which it has done sort of but not the way they imagined it doing back then
the recipe books they had back then are funny as hell nowadays…it had a 3-page spread on how to make a Thanksgiving dinner in a microwave …years before anyone made anything actually microwavable …stepmom said it did defrost a turkey about 5 or 6 hours faster than just leaving it out in water ,
Our tiny Sharp Half Pint microwave was manufactured in 1985. We use it for melting butter and reheating leftover pizza. There is a single control, a knob you turn that acts as a timer. If it ever dies, I don’t thing we’ll replace it.