Flowers by the Fence

flowers-by-the-fence-detHere’s a photograph of some of the women in John Capewell’s life along with what I’m guessing are his two sons. From the left, I’m guessing that John, Jr is seated on the fence, John’s mother-in-law, John’s wife Ella holding Henry, John’s mother Whillie Batt and two of John’s sisters.

It looks as if John’s mother and sisters are dressed in black while his wife and mother-in-law look to be dressed in light casual clothing. I’m wondering if the black clad women were in mourning. Everybody seems to be wearing a somber expression.

flowers-by-the-fenceThis was probably shot in Westville where the Capewells resided. It was a lot more wide open and New Jersey truly was the Garden State back then.

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: Washington’s Old Headquarters


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