Solar Box Ovens

By Atom Bergstrom

Atom’s Blog

It’s time to get off the grid. If you can’t do it big-time, start a little at a time.

“Life Is hard by the yard but a cinch by the inch.”


According to eighth-graders Tasmia & Wendy (participating in a 2012 science fair project ..

“Horace de Saussure made the first solar box oven, and our group planned to do the same this year. A solar oven is a small, insulated box that is black on the inside. One side of the box has a mirror bent at a 45 degree angle. You can make it out of black construction paper, aluminum foil, a pizza box, and plastic wrap. Solar ovens use the sunlight to heat up the oven and cook food.”

What materials did these eighth-graders use?

A roll of foil, a roll of plastic wrap, a piece of black construction paper, a pizza box, a roll of tape, a thermometer, a pair of scissors, a ruler, and a writing utensil.


Horace Bénédict de Saussure (1740-1799) is credited with creating the first solar oven.

According to Wikipedia (last edited Apr. 26, 2023) …

“In 1767, Saussure constructed the first known Western solar oven, trying several designs before determining that a well-insulated box with three layers of glass to trap outgoing thermal radiation produced the most heat. The highest temperature he reached was 230°F (110°C), which he found did not vary significantly when the box was carried from the top of Mt. Crammont in the Swiss Alps down to the Plains of Cournier, 4,852 feet lower in altitude and 34°F (19°C) warmer in temperature, thereby establishing that the external air temperature played no significant role in this solar heating effect.”


'Solar Box Ovens' have 5 comments

  1. July 12, 2023 @ 4:07 pm Atom

    In the 1939 movie, Gone With the Wind, Scarlett O’Hara is told to take a nap after the barbecue at Twelve Oaks, and a sundial is shown outside the plantation which reads …

    ‘Do not squander time. That is the stuff life is made of.”

    Two cats are sleeping in the shade in front of the sundial.


  2. July 12, 2023 @ 4:07 pm Atom

    The only person who stood up and clapped at a Ram Dass lecture when he said, “Drugs will not get you there,” was Adano Ley (Swami Nitty-Gritty).

    Adano had been given LSD in Montreal as part of MKUltra, but it wasn’t relevant to his Swami-hood.


  3. July 12, 2023 @ 4:08 pm Atom

    Ram Dass (Richard Alpert, 1931-2019) visited Swami Nitty-Gritty’s Karma Klinic several times.

    One time he got into a confrontation with Dr. Marcia Cotton, something easy to do.


  4. July 12, 2023 @ 4:08 pm Atom

    Someone asked, “Did we come from Mars?”

    Adano Ley (Swami Nitty-Gritty) replied, “Well, we had to come from somewhere.”

    Another time he told us students at Texas Institute of Reflex Sciences that man — a manifestation — originated on Jupiter.

    He also told us we would probably blow up Earth as we had done to so many other planets, e.g., the former planet now circling the Sun as an asteroid belt.


  5. July 12, 2023 @ 4:09 pm Atom

    Adano Ley (Swami Nitty-Gritty) invested himself with the title of Knight.

    As usual, he ig-Knighted himself with three names — Sir Plus, Sir Prise, and Sir Risealot.


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