Ronald Howes

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Ronald B. Howes
Born(1926-05-22)May 22, 1926
DiedFebruary 16, 2010(2010-02-16) (aged 83)
Anderson Township, OH
Known forInventor of the Easy-Bake Oven

Ronald B. Howes (May 22, 1926 – February 16, 2010) was the American toy inventor, best known for his invention of the Easy-Bake Oven, which was introduced to consumers in 1963.[1]


Early life[edit]

Howes' mother died when he was born. He was raised by his German grandmother and her American husband in Over-the-Rhine, a historic neighborhood in Cincinnati.[1] Howes' family ran a series of small grocery stores in the city during the Great Depression.[1]

Howes taught himself to read before kindergarten.[1] He left Walnut Hills High School during World War II in order to enlist in the United States Navy.[1] He served in the South Pacific during the war before returning to Cincinnati.

He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati, where he had already earned some credits while in high school.[1]


Howes came up with the idea for the Easy-Bake Oven when he noticed that street vendors kept their food hot by using heat-lamps.[2] In addition to his creation of the Easy-Bake Oven, Howes also was involved in the creation of or refinement to a number of other Kenner Toy products, including Spirograph, Give-a-Show Projector, and Close-and-Play Record Player. Howes died on February 16, 2010 at the age of 83.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Horstman, Barry M. (2010-02-19). "Ronald Howes, inventor of Easy-Bake Oven, dies at 83". Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on 2010-02-23. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  2. ^ Breselor, Sara (2010-02-28). "Hot young thing: Why we love the Easy-Bake Oven". Chefs and Cooks. Retrieved 2011-02-24. About 50 years ago, walking through New York City, inventor Ronald Howes was struck by the way street vendors kept their food warm using heating lamps. In the cartoon version of this scene, we can see the light bulb from a vendor's cart float to the air above Howes' head, where it pops in a flash of genius. Light bulb ... heat ... cooking ... There among the pretzel carts, Howes conceived of the Easy-Bake Oven, a child-size appliance that uses 100-watt incandescents to bake tiny cakes.