Last week I presented a pair of negatives of young John Capewell in a body cast. I assume that the cast was a corrective measure for an accident or curvature of the spine. In this picture we have a picture of young John and his younger brother Henry. They tried to camouflage his condition with an oversized coat, but it’s obvious that there is something amiss.
It looks like the condition had affected John’s growth. His younger brother was outstripping him as far as height. Henry was a cute kid as a baby and toddler, and it looks as if he was starting to grow into a handsome young man.
The style of dress and the age of the boys look like this photograph dates from the teens. Probably 100 years ago.
I had posted a picture earlier that was probably from the same day and setting. No caps in the earlier picture and it looks as if John Capewell’s sons couldn’t stay still unlike the picture above.
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: Young John’s Back Problems