I have a feeling that this shot was probably taken at the same time and place as last week’s Sawdust Pile. It’s in a similarly wooded area that looks to be in the process of being cleared. Paths look to be turning into crude dirt roads. It sort of reminds me of Browns Mills, New Jersey which my family used to visit when I was a kid. It was all pine trees and dirt roads.
The vantage point seems sort of high for what looks like a fairly flat landscape so I’m wondering if John B. Capewell set up his camera atop the sawdust pile.
There is a shed or a horse stable-like structure similar to one from last week’s post. Again, this photo is hard to place due to the lack of discernible landmarks.
The Capewell Glass Negative Collection is a series of about 200 5-inch by 7-inch glass negatives shot early in the 20th Century by John Batt Capewell (1878-1951) of Westville, New Jersey. John passed the negatives down to his son Henry who left them in his wife’s possession upon his passing. Henry’s widow didn’t know what to do with them and didn’t particularly want them so she offered them to my Dad who couldn’t turn down anything. Ultimately I wound up with them and thought I would one day have photographic prints struck from them. That didn’t happen, but I came up with the digital workaround of placing the negatives on a lightbox and rephotographing them with a digital camera. The “processing” was then done on a computer with image editing software. They came out better than I thought they would so I thought I would show them off to the world on this site. Many of these pictures have not been seen in a century, and I’m proud to be presenting them today.
At first, I did not know who the people were in the photographs. I have a box of ephemera that accompanied the negatives and snagged a few clues from that as far as the Capewell name. I did some research on the internet and had a few false starts and wrong turns, but the readers of these posts have provided a remarkable amount of research and detail. I’m amazed at what people have turned up sifting through public records and such!
This story continues to evolve. Every Thursday, I will post a Capewell picture or two. If you recognize a person or place in one of the shots or just want to drop a line, feel free to comment!
Last: Sawdust Pile