I had sent JPEG files of this series of negatives to the AMAZING JerseyMan who is an expert on the history of the Garden State and has helped out your humble author more than once. He responded:
These images are fabulous! All of the photographs are of various organizations associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), a fraternal organization. The local lodge of IOOF in Westville, which met at the Union Fire Company’s hall on Broadway, was the Crown Point Lodge no. 268. You will find the IOOF’s logo features a three-link chain with an F in the first link, an L in the second link, and a T in the third link. These letters stand for Friendship, Love and Truth. Associated with the IOOF lodge in Westville was the FLT Club for teenage boys. Likewise, the Mount Olivet Lodge no. 68 is the local lodge for the Rebekahs, an arm of the IOOF for young ladies in their teenage years. It is apparent that a close relationship existed between the Westville IOOF lodge and the fire company. If you look at the last two images below, the horse-drawn float is actually one of the ladder wagons from the fire company.
Here is the entire 7 inch by 5 inch glass negative of this shot:
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: Lady Odd Fellows on Parade