Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka enjoyed listening to opera when he traveled for business. The only problem, as he complained to an employee, was the size of the stereo tape recorder he carried with him. In 1979, a pioneering solution was designed: a handheld, battery-operated cassette player with headphones that was dubbed the “Walkman.” Its success was immediate. As the first portable device, the Walkman revolutionized people’s ability to enjoy music on the go. And go they did—according to Time, at the height of the Walkman’s popularity, when it was used as a companion to workouts, the number of people who walked for exercise increased by 30%.

From Tamagotchis to cassette tapes: A celebration of the tech that shaped a generation.

Issue 39


Arts & Culture, Design

  • Photography Yana Sheptovetskaya


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