Appliances get something of a bad press these days. Washing machines used to last 15 years or more, then you were lucky if you got 10 years. I’m told that unless you are prepared to spend a fortune on a top end model you are lucky to get two years now. It’s no secret that despite advertising things like quality and reliability what manufacturers do is build down to a price. They also build in modes of failure in the knowledge that we will accept the breakdown and just go out and buy another one.
When my sister finished her law degree and joined a firm in Northampton as an articled clerk our parents bought her a microwave oven. It went with her into her first marital home, and I think her second too. At some point it became redundant and spent a period in her garage. About 17 years ago she asked if we could use it and it came to live with us. It gets used pretty much every day. Its main duties are defrosting berries for my breakfast, re-heating D’s coffee, warming soup for lunch, defrosting bread, and cooking peas or custard.
I’ve tried to work it out and I reckon that it’s 30 years old this year. Sure, there was a bit of built-in obsolescence: The retaining clip on the main timer knob broke and a foot fell off the back but our Dad fixed those with a bit of ingenuity and a piece of 1″ x 2″ timber. Since it has lived with us it has simply worked. We have not even had to replace the internal light bulb.
So well done Samsung. Well done, brave little microwave oven. Thank you for 30 years of service.