Wherever the Music Goes

Photo essay – the evolution of portable music players in the pre-MP3 era.

History of portable music

1920s, the early superhet portable radio receiver

1930s, the portable gramophone was invented. it was a revelation and allowed people to take their tunes with them on outings and holidays for the first time.

A lady in the 1940s with her travelling radio. OK, it needed a bicycle to carry it, but it was a start

1940, travelling radio got smaller and came with headphone for a more personal experience.

1950s, transistor radio was invented. Music player become truly portable.

1960s -1970s, 8-track tape, the early cassettes player.


Mid 1970s, portable cassette player became more personal.

1980's New York // hip-hop & graffiti culture:

1980s, Ghetto blaster, size does matter on the streets. “My radio, believe me, I like it loud I’m the man with a box that can rock the crowd” – LL Cool J

1980s, Sony Walkman was born and the difference is perfectly clear.

Images @REX FEATURES and


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