of the Phonograph and Other Stories
My name is Axel Boilesen.
I was born on a farm near
Cotesfield, Nebraska on April
Axel age 4 (center of picture)
with brother Lester on left and Floyd on right and his two sisters,
Lois and Fern (circa 1927).
When I was a growing up
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.
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 together.
1922 Christmas Ad
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. Perhaps he remembered scenes or stories from World
War I and support efforts for entertaining the troops with phonograph
postcard showing US Army personnel listening to a disc playing
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
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.
record from 1918
to the "The Jolly Coppersmith" or "Kreuzfidele Kupferschmied"
played by Edison Military Band (1)
postcard titled Liebesgaben (alms) - Children
participating in a World War I war-time drive to support their
troops (including the donation of a gramophone).
Goes to War
Reported in Scientific
American, this Week in World War I: November 6, 1915
A recruiting station in
Britain uses a phonograph to help drum up business in 1915.
Scientific American, November 6, 1915
This poster was displayed
in a Department store in 1918 to support World War I American
troops by bringing in unused records. (2)
U.S. Troops listening to phonograph
record during World War II
(National Archives and Records Administration), Photographs
and Graphic Works, College Park, MD, 44-PA-1377
Vinyl and Print: Music for the Troops during World War II
August 10, 2015 by Mary Macklem for an article about how the
Army Special Services initiated “V-Discs” (the V stood for “victory”)
to boost troop morale in 1943. Courtesy of National Endowment
for the Humanities.
Also see Annegret Fauser’s book, Sounds
of War, which "reveals the forgotten history of how
the armed forces supported music and music-making for strategic
World War II U.S. Army Special
Services Phonograph Player
Inside Lid of Special Services
Phonograph - View
full Operating Instructions
Memories of the Phonograph
Axel Boilesen Stories
Up - What did we do for entertainment?
Up - Education
Up - High School Sneak Day (Class of 1941)
Up - Religion
Up - My Dad the Inventor
Up - Measure Twice, Cut Once
Brief History of Cotesfield
Up - My Danish Heritage
Siblings - The Chris Boilesen Family Album
Tribute to his parents - A Christmas Eve memory
account of his military experience in World War II - Axel
Lake Street - The University Years
New Year's Resolution
18, 1923 - On This Day
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
the Dougs, and the Glass Negatives - The Lincoln Journal -
August 5, 2013
Bee for Chris Boilesen 1948 (newspaper account)
and Betty - Christmas Traditions
- 1849 Danish
Holiday - The signing of the Danish constitution
in 1849. Each year Axel and Betty Boilesen celebrated this
holiday and remembered their Howard County Nebraska roots
which included picnics, ballgames and dances in Dannevirke
Barr Boilesen Stories
CITY-TV Interview with
Axel Boilesen March 2008 - TBD
Axel Boilesen, a Friend
of the Phonograph, celebrating his 87th Birthday.
Axel in the
Radio Room - Photo by Doug Keister
Axel in the
Phonograph Room - Photo by Doug Keister
Axel 1948 reading and listening to the
Memories of the Phonograph