Sony TPS-L2 "Walkman" Cassette Player

This Sony "Walkman" portable tape player dates from the early 1980s. Originally introduced in 1979 as the “Soundabout,” two people could listen simultaneously while a small microphone permitted them to converse without removing their headsets. Powered by a 9-volt battery, the recorder sold well until the decline of the cassette format in the mid 2000s.
Until the middle of the twentieth century portable recording equipment could be quite heavy. The introduction of small transistor radios in 1954 marked a new era in portable entertainment. Philips’ invention of a compact recording cassette in 1962 provided a convenient medium for music distribution.
Object Name
magnetic recording device
tape recorder
date made
ca 1980
Physical Description
plastic (parts material)
metal (parts material)
player: 5 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in x 1 1/8 in; 13.97 cm x 8.89 cm x 2.8575 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Music & Musical Instruments
Popular Entertainment
American Stories exhibit
American Enterprise
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
American Enterprise
American Stories exhibit
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from Sony Corporation of America
Sewer, Andy; Allison, David; Liebhold, Peter; Davis, Nancy; Franz, Kathleen G.. American Enterprise: A History of Business in America
Additional Media

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