Informal Family Portrait in the Yard – The Capewell Glass Negative Collection

Mr and Mrs Capewell. John and Ella.

Here’s an informal family portrait of the Capewells of Westville, New Jersey. John and Ella Capewell are standing behind the two women seated in the lodgepole chairs. The Capewell boys are on the ground in front of the two women. Henry is on the left and John, Jr. is on the right.

7 in the Yard-detailI don’t know the identities of the two seated women and the woman standing on the left. They are probably aunts and sisters. They show up in some of the other negatives. From the information I’ve been able to gather, John, Sr came from a fairly large family.

Henry, the smaller boy on the left, was born in 1908 placing this photo on a nice spring day sometime in 1910 or 1911.

From what I could gather from reviewing the photos, John B. Capewell seemed to be well off or at least comfortable financially. He had a nice house on Broadway with a large piece of land big enough to do farming on. He was probably doing some yard work when the ladies and the children came outside to enjoy a beautiful day. John dragged out the camera equipment and preserved this moment from about a century ago.

Here’s the whole 7″ x 5″ glass negative.

7 in the YardBelow is my original shot of the 5 x 7 glass negative which I had placed on a small light box and shot with a Nikon L11 locked down on a tripod. The image was flopped, cropped and adjusted in Photoshop.


I’ve been posting announcements when I post these photos on Facebook. One of the pages I post to is I grew up in Westville, New Jersey…. Besides from being a very nice group of people, they’ve been especially helpful in plying me with historical information and helping paint a picture of the Capewells. Special thanks to Robert Greer and James Bessing, Sr who have researched and offered up some wonderful nuggets of information including:

  • … 1910 … Adele Doriot 48, and husband Frederick Charles Doriot 48 oversaw a farm in South Westville. Their son Gules Doriot 22 was a stained glass designer. John Capewell 32, and wife Ella 31, lived in a home on Broadway with their two sons John Jr 2, and H. (Henry?) Oliver 1. John Capewell and Gules Duriot worked with, cut and framed stained glass for windows and decorative art. Their business also included preparation of glass panes used in photography.
  • ‎>>> James G. Capewell, had in 1841-1842, established an extensive flint glass works located in the block bounded by Kaighn avenue, Second, Sycamore and Locust streets. Capewell added a story to the brick house (originally only two stories in height), rough cast it and beautified the surrounding grounds. The Capewell glass works was operated until the panic of 1857, and after a struggle for two years was finally closed up.
  • James Bessing, Sr suggested that I create a Facebook page for the Capewell Collection. It’s not a bad idea. Stay tuned!

Special thanks to the folks at the forums at who paid the Capewell Collection and Willceau Illo News some kind attention with a link and some wonderful words of appreciation. Thanks!!!

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5 Responses to Informal Family Portrait in the Yard – The Capewell Glass Negative Collection

  1. Dan says:

    Nice detective work, love hearing the story.

  2. Joe Williams says:

    I owe the detective work to the nice folks who have taken the time out to stop by the site! Without them, I’d probably be chasing down blind alleys and making wildly inaccurate guesses.

  3. Tina says:

    Thank you Dan for your research on, it was really helpful!

  4. um says:

    the last negative isn’t same as the other images.

  5. Joe Williams says:

    It is the same image – it’s flopped. I flopped and inverted the image in Photoshop. After that, I cropped the image and adjusted the levels. I had a feeling it might be a little confusing.

    Thanks for looking.

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