John Capewell is again photographer and subject of this glass negative. He’s in the back on the far left. He is activating his camera’s shutter with a length of string although he’s done a better job of hiding the string in this shot than he has in some of the other photos I’ve posted recently.
I’m wondering if it was hot when this picture was taken. There are a number of dour expressions in this group. John looks a little cranky, too.
I’m not sure who the family is. They may be cousins.
Capewell and his family resided in Westville, New Jersey. This may be Westville, but there’s no way of telling for sure. It probably is Southern New Jersey in that the background looks similar to some of the other glass negatives I’ve posted. New Jersey was wide open at the time, and it lived up to it’s name of the Garden State.
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!