Here’s another in a series of interior shots photographed by John Capewell. This looks to be the same camera set-up, wicker chair and vase of flowers as the picture from last week, but the woman is different.
I don’t recognize her from any of the other negatives I’ve worked on. Perhaps she was a neighbor.
Her hair looks more modern than a lot of the other pictures — almost like a 1920s cut, but I doubt it. This is probably from the same time period as the other shots which were from the first decade of the Twentieth Century or thereabouts. She probably has a bun tucked behind her head.
I’m curious as to what that thin white rectangle up on wall might be. There isn’t really enough detail in the negative to pull anything more from it.
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!
Last Week: Flowers by the Window