of the Phonograph and Other Stories
My name is Axel
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.
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 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 music.
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 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.
record from 1918
to the "The Jolly Coppersmith" or "Kreuzfidele Kupferschmied"
played by Edison Military Band (1)
titled Liebesgaben (alms) - Children participating in a World
War I war-time drive to support their troops (including the
donation of a gramophone).
Phonograph Goes to War
Reported in Scientific
American, this Week in World War I: November 6, 1915
station in Britain uses a phonograph to help drum up business
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)
HELP YOUR GOVERNMENT
World War II War Drive
Bring One Old
Phonograph Record and 5 Cents for Kiddie Matinee Admission
The El Reno
Daily Tribune, June 16, 1942, El Reno, OK
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 purposes..." (3)
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
Siblings - The Chris Boilesen Family Album
Tribute to his parents - A Christmas Eve memory
Up - What did we do for entertainment?
Up - Education
Up - Religion
School Sneak Day (Class of 1941)
Twice, Cut Once
Dad the Inventor
Brief History of Cotesfield
account of his military experience in World War II - Axel
Lake Street - The University Years
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
the Dougs, and the Glass Negatives - The Lincoln Journal -
August 5, 2013
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
Interview with Axel Boilesen
March 2008 - Axel talks about the Legacy Phonograph Collection
Axel Boilesen, a Friend
of the Phonograph, celebrating his 87th Birthday.
Axel in the
Legacy Radio Room - Photo by Doug Keister
Axel in the
Legacy Phonograph Room - Photo by Doug Keister
Axel 1948 reading and listening to the
Memories of the Phonograph