Girl with a Bouquet

pretty-girl-detail I’m not sure who the girl is, but it looks as if she was preparing for a cotillion or maybe a Sweet 16, and John Capewell decided to capture her for posterity on glass negatives.

pretty-girlThis may be one of Capewell’s many nieces or maybe a neighbor — I’m not sure. I’m hoping somebody out there will recognize a relative.

Judging from the style of dress, it looks like this was taken earlier in the twentieth century than my recent posts.

lodgepole-tableCapewell included some of the lodgepole furniture that he liked to show off in a number of his photos.

This is one of a couple of shots that  John shot of this girl. He tried another pose that was sadly damaged somewhere along the decades. Fortunately the other one is in much better shape.


About The Capewell Glass Negative Collection

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: The Road is Long

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4 Responses to Girl with a Bouquet

  1. Karen says:

    Could this be a graduation photo? It looks like she has a rolled-up diploma in her hand.

    I love the table!

    Thanks for posting these, they’re beautiful.

  2. Joe_Williams says:

    Yes, that could be a possibility. If it was, they certainly went all out for graduation!

  3. Jerseyman says:


    Notice that Capewell shot this photograph at the same location as the baseball team:

    Best regards,

  4. Joe_Williams says:

    Sharp eyes! Thanks, Jerseyman!

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