Monday, February 1, 2010
In the 1970's and 1980's, a boombox could be seen on the shoulder of
most adolescents in the city. The boombox was an icon for that time
period, and was often a source of conflict between the young and old,
and even between the upper and lower classes.
Despite common opinion, boomboxes can be traced back to a humble
start in the mid-70s, when the idea of a "personal" stereo experience
was a bit of a novelty. Panasonic, Sony, Marantz and GE were quick to
debut this hybrid stereo--not quite a home stere console, but more
than a portable combination radio-cassette. The models were small,
heavy and black-sound quality and AM/FM tuning was quite good.
The pinnacle in functionality was an array of input and output jacks, so
the stereo could be integrated with other audio equipment, like
microphones and turntables. Obviously, these systems filled a niche,
and when the '80s arrived, other companies entered the portable
stereo arena, while the trendsetters released more models.
And so began the "boombox boom." pics
Panasonic clearly dominated the boombox market around the turn of
Enter the 1980s and with it, the height of the portable stereo craze--
walkmans were worn on the hip and boomboxes like these were held
on the shoulder or positioned on a street corner for an impromptu
breakdancing session. In fact, the terms "boomboxes" and ghetto
blasters" were started during this period to describe the "noise" that
emanated from portable stereo cassette recorders, though the sound
quality on some rivalled that of home stereo systems. You'll see that
as the decade progressed, these silver and chrome-laden beasts grew
in size and in functionality. They became a status symbol of urban
culture--the bigger, the more buttons and lights, the better.
For more detailed infos visit Boombox Nostalgia or one of my alltime