My name is Axel Boilesen.
I was born on a farm
near Cotesfield, Nebraska on April 18, 1923.
When I was a little
boy we had an Edison Amberola, which I think was a Model
30, that was tucked away in a bedroom closet.
I never saw it in
the parlor as we had a radio and if there was going to be any
entertainment, it usually came from the radio. But I do remember
my older sisters getting the Edison out from time to time and
dancing around the bedroom.
Coppersmith was a song I can still hear playing. We didn't
listen to it very often but the Edison always worked very well.
My grandmother also
had a phonograph in their home, a large upright disc model which
might have been a Brunswick. I still fondly remember her sitting
in her rocking chair with me on her lap listening to the phonograph
Axel on far right, sister Fern on far left in "Pilgrim"
|Axel as a litle boy (center of picture)
with brother Lester on his left, Floyd on his right and
his two sisters, Lois and Fern. (circa 1926).
When World War II
began there were paper drives and scrap iron drives and other
activities to support the war effort. My
Dad had alot of scrap iron and machinery parts around the farm
and he was very willing and proud to donate all that he could.
Included in those
war-time donations was our Edison Amberola. It
was said that donating phonographs would help entertain the
troops and I think my Dad believed that our Amberola would make
it to some USO or army camp site.
1919 postcard showing US Army personnel listening
to a disc playing "Victrola"
Looking back, it
seems unlikely our Amberola ever played music for any soldier
in the 1940's. By
1942 Edison Blue Amberol cylinder records, the record format
used by an Amberola, hadn't been manufactured by anyone in over
14 years so the music selection of an Amberola would have been
very limited and dated.
But if our Edison
did survive the army's scrap pile I'm sure it's still hammering
out those "la la la's" of the Jolly Coppersmith.
here to download a 1909 recording (20 MB) of The
image from a German postcard titled Liebesgaben (alms)
shows children participating in a war-time drive to support
their troops including the donation of a gramophone (little
girl on the far right).
poster was displayed in a Department store in 1918 to
support World War I American troops with phonograph records.
The artist of the poster was C.B. Falls.
Axel Boilesen Stories
Up - What did we do for entertainment?
Growing Up - My Danish Heritage
Up - Religion
Growing Up - Education
Growing Up - High School Sneak Day (Class of 1941)
Growing Up - My Dad, the Inventor
Growing Up - Measure Twice, Cut Once
account of his military experience in World War II - Axel
Tribute to his parents - A Christmas Eve memory
Lake Street - The University Years
with Axel Boilesen March 2008
New Year's Resolution
Service and Family Tribute to Axel - March 25, 2013
Service and Sharing Memories - May 25, 2013 Cotesfield Cemetery
- A Personal Tribute by Doug Keister - March 25, 2013
and the Glass Negatives - The Lincoln Journal - August
Bee for Chris Boilesen, 1948 (newspaper account)
and Betty - Christmas Traditions
Barr Boilesen Stories