The Capewell Glass Negative Collection – Meet The Capewells!

Here are the Capewells in a strangely stiff family portrait. From left to right, we have John, Jr., Ella, Henry O and standing in the background is the photographer responsible for these negatives, John B. Capewell. My guess is that this is around 1912 or 1913 being that the youngest was born in 1908.

I remember thinking that the photo looked odd in negative and odder still when I “developed” it in Photoshop. Maybe it’s because they had to remain still for the exposure.

It looks like John taped off an area of this to make a print centering more on the family.

Here’s a better shot, but the boys both have their eyes closed. I’m not sure how this is lit being that there is no stark shadow behind the Capewells. Maybe John set up a couple of flood lamps if such things were available in South Jersey at the time. The room looks oddly stagey, and it looks like a set, but judging from some other interior shots Capewell made, I’m reasonably sure that this is from within their house which was on Broadway in Westville, New Jersey.

When I originally shot these negatives, I had no idea who the photographer or people in the shots together. All I knew is that my Dad got them from a woman named Annie. I didn’t know her last name until I started digging through the box of paperwork and ephemera that I got along with the glass negatives. I found a bill with Henry’s name and address on it, and that’s what started me chasing down the Capewell name. Thanks to Dan Love and his research into census data, I have a lot more information now than when I started out.

Here’s a detail shot of the Capewell family with their eyes open.

Last Week: Niagara Falls

Next Week: The Death of Frosty the Snowman

The Capewell Glass Negative Collection
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2 Responses to The Capewell Glass Negative Collection – Meet The Capewells!

  1. Nancy Durant says:

    When I first saw the top cropped image, I thought they were on a train, tram or subway car! The lines on the right reminded me of bars you might grab in a subway. The wallpaper or wood work behind them looked, at first glance, like metal rivets! I can’t explain the photos behind them, tasteful advertising? What is on Dad’s lips?
    Theses photos are SO intriguing!

  2. Tina says:

    The cropped image does look like a first class train car. Then you see the full shot and you realize it’s their home. By the looks of the plants, I’m assuming that Miracle-Gro had not been invented yet.

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