Happy 30th Birthday Walkman

Happy July, Happy Canada Day, and Happy 30th Birthday to the Sony Walkman. To shed some light on the technological leaps and bounds made since its advent, BBC brilliantly handed one to a 13 year old for a week to review. He (rather eloquently) delineates his experience here.

Luckily, although Sony “initially planned to call the machine ‘Soundabout’ in the United States and ‘Stowaway’ in Britain,” the term Walkman caught on quickly among consumers. In honor of the pesky little device that started it all, lets take a trip down memory road. For those among you who like to delve into model numbers and such minutiae, check out the Classic Walkman Museum.

My personal favorite was always the sporty yellow model. Remember that bad boy?

yellowwalkman

If the Walkman was the iPod’s predecessor, perhaps this commercial planted the seed for all those flashy iPod commercials.

Words can’t convey how rad it was when they came out with a “cassette player as small as a cassette tape!” Want to know more about the how? These guys do a good job explaining how the technology evolved.

Not into collecting vintage electronics or exploring historical perspectives like the young Mr. Campbell? How about using an ancient walkman to disguise an iPod and deter thieves?

Happy Birthday Mr. Walkman. We’ll always love you. Even when Apple puts your maker out of business. You have a very special place in our hearts, right next to Ferris Bueller, Fraggle Rock, and side ponytails.

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1 Response to “Happy 30th Birthday Walkman”


  1. 1 ruth stroup July 2, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    My husband is from Tokyo and he had an original Japanese Walkman. What I find interesting is not the technology change but the cultural shift from a shared music experience to a personal one.


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