Percy Spencer was working as a researcher for American Appliance Company (now Raytheon) when he noticed a radar set using electromagnetic waves melted the candy bar in his pocket.
He had the idea to make a metal box using microwaves to heat food, but the company was the one to file the patent. He received a $2 bonus but never any royalties.
Spencer became Senior Vice President and a Senior Member of the Board of Directors at Raytheon. Originally, a Raytheon facility in Burlington, Massachusetts involved in vacuum tube development and manufacturing was named Spencer Labs after Spencer.
A new building at the Raytheon Missile Defense Center in Woburn, Massachusetts, was also named in his honor.
Other achievements and awards, besides the Distinguished Public Service Award, included a membership of the Institute of Radio Engineers, Fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Massachusetts, despite having no formal education.