Rise and fall of the boombox

Rise and fall of the boombox

Lyle Owerko, a New York-based photographer, is a historian. A boombox historian:

There’s a history with this, and boomboxes mean a lot more to culture and to people than just the object itself. And there isn’t one box that means any more than one another. It’s really what you’re playing through it, it’s what the image of it conveys.

NPR, in a recent eulogy for the box:

The nostalgia for boomboxes isn’t just about a trend in stereo equipment. When the music was loud and unavoidable, we had to listen to each other. Maybe we miss boomboxes because when we’re wearing headphones, we can’t talk to anyone else. Which makes it hard to help each other out, and makes it hard to party.

It would indeed be interesting to see a comparative graph of music-playing devices mapped to the ability or lack thereof, to party. And perhaps engagement that ensued. But that’s for another post. More images from NPR, and even more history at the Boombox Museum.

[Image: Video chronicles the design of the object. Photographer: Lyle Owerko]