This Old Shack

this-old-shack-detHere’s a photo that I’m assuming John Capewell shot somewhere during a trip, but I don’t know where. Capewell travelled and he took his camera with him although it was somewhat more arduous than an Instamatic. There is a Union and Confederate flag among the rifles and cannonballs so I’m wondering if it was during a trip below the Mason Dixon Line.

Capewell has taken other shots down South.

this-old-shack-det2I tried to read the type above the doorway and to the right of it, but I couldn’t make anything out despite throwing a bunch of Photoshop trickery at it. I still hope that somebody out there recognizes the place. I’ll leave this one to the historians and sleuths among the site’s readership to identify or debate.

Here is the entire glass negative:


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: First Holy Communion

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One Response to This Old Shack

  1. Tina says:

    Our friend Ira on The Capewell’s Facebook page said “the sign to the right: on the second line, it says “house & sign painter.” Sharp eyes Ira – thank you!

    On an attachment page – Ira also pointed out – “My total guess as to the story told by this picture: This is Decoration Day, the celebration of the end of the Civil War. The proprietor of the house & sign painting shop is pointing to the battlefield where the weaponry displayed was found.”

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