Wading Children and a Rowboat

I’m trying to stick with the watery theme I’ve been keeping in recent posts. This was shot by John B. Capewell of Westville, New Jersey although I doubt that this is Westville. I don’t think it’s the Delaware River either. I don’t know if there is enough geographical details to identify the place, but I’ll entertain guesses if anybody out there has one.

The children may be Capewell’s eldest son, John Jr., and the little girl on the left may be a cousin who shows up in quite a few shots from the Capewell Collection. John, Jr. was born in 1905 which will give you a rough idea as to when this photo was shot.

Here is the entire 7″ x 5″ glass negative:

wading kidsAs with all of the photographs in the Capewell Collection, I placed the 5″ x 7″ glass negative on a lightbox and shot them with a digital camera locked down on a tripod. The “processing” was done digitally on a Mac using Adobe Photoshop.

I really had to play with this one to get the children’s faces to show up. It looks like it was shot on a bright day and the girl and boy were in shadow.

…and NOW a follow-up to last week’s post!

I took a half-baked guess as to what the structure in the background to the left of the boat, and as it turned out, I was incorrect. I received an e-mail from Bill Hangley, Jr who consulted a maritime buff/friend of his who set me straight. Mr. Hangley had forwarded his friend the link to the story, and his friend replied:

Great photo! There’s good history here. What is assumed to be a bridge in the background of the yacht is actually the coal loading ramps that used to be north of the Spring Garden St/Girard Ave area. There were a number of them. The Reading Railroad owned them and their coal trains hauled the long string of coal hoppers down from Scranton, Pottsville, Hazelton, etc.

The ramps were on an incline so that the engine would uncouple, be switched to a side track, and then the hoppers would roll down (one at a time) and dump their coal into the holds of waiting ships.  I remember seeing them in action around 1955 or so … Also adjacent to the coal docks was CRAMPS SHIPYARD. It operated from 1880 (abt.) thru WW1. It built most of the early steel ships for our original steel US Navy in the late 1880’s (the original “Industrial-Military complex).

I was delighted to receive this e-mail and information. Thanks a million to you, Bill, and your knowledgeable friend!

If anybody out there has info in the people or places in these negatives, please feel free to comment or e-mail us at Willceau Illo News. Our contact page is HERE.

The Capewell Glass Negative Collection

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