Sadly, I have no idea who this woman was, but John Capewell of Westville, New Jersey saw fit to commit her image to glass negative. Judging from the lady’s style of dress this looks like it was shot some time very early in the 20th century .
Here is the entire 5″ by 7″ glass negative of The Lady in the Yard:
Despite her sour expression probably due to having to remain perfectly still during the exposure of the plate, there is something intriguing about this woman. She was shapely and probably considered quite a catch for some lucky lad at the time.
I’m hoping that somebody recognizes a great-great aunt or a distant cousin in this photo.
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!
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