Henry & Young John in Younger Days

henry-john-lodgepole-det-2I’ve been running photographs of John Capewell’s sons recently, and I decided to step back a little further in the past when the Capewell boys were toddlers. Here the boys wear stern, somewhat anxious expressions. My guess is that their father was admonishing them to stay still for the lengthy exposure.

Regular readers will note the lodgepole chair on which the Capewell boys are seated. John often set his subjects upon this chair and similar pieces. I wonder if Capewell built them himself.


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!

Last Week: Young John & Henry

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4 Responses to Henry & Young John in Younger Days

  1. oldnfo says:

    Interesting, and very serious is right…

  2. Don DeLorme says:

    You know why he sat them in this type of chair? It’s because it’s uncomfortable and you will most likely (other than the young boys) will sit up straight.

  3. Joe_Williams says:

    Capewell is awfully fond of that chair. He used it in a number of his portraits.

  4. Tina says:

    I’m thinking he probably made the chair.
    Also interesting that the boys don’t have pants on – which means they may have still been toilet training.

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