The Boombox Project by Photographer Lyle Owerko. A collection of photos of 80’s and 90’s radios. Exactly when the term ‘beambox’ hit the streets is not known for sure. In the Unite States. department stores apparently began using the term in marketing and advertising as early as 1983. Street slang linguists pin the term down at 1981. and define the boom box as “a large portable radio and tape player with two attached speakers…”.