Children of the Corn

One of John B. Capewell’s brothers ran a farm and corn must have been one of his crops. This is a photograph of John’s sons, John, Jr. standing and Henry O. seated on the lodge pole chair.

New Jersey is known as the Garden State, and there are a number of glass negatives in the collection showing a farm and farming. My guess is that the farm was in Westville. The town was more spread out back then, and there was plenty of room for crops or some livestock. They were cute kids. Henry was born in 1908, and he looks fairly young so this is probably 1909 or 1910. As I wrote above, I’m fairly sure that these are John’s sons. There are other pictures in this series with John and his wife Ella holding these children, but as I look at the close-up, I see what looks like a beaded necklace around the younger child’s neck. It’s an odd piece of jewelry for a boy.

This looks to be the first of a couple takes. Capewell must have had a fresh box of glass negatives and wanted to capture the kids on what was probably a perfect day over a 100 years ago. What is remarkable about these shots is that the kids as young as they were managed to remain still while the negative was being exposed. The exposures were fairly long and the slightest movement would blur the shot.

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

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