Christening Gown – Variation


Christening-Gown-Variation-det-2I recently posted a photo of John Capewell’s eldest son John, Jr. in what I assumed was a Christening gown. Here is a variation on that shot with Capewell’s infant son in a different position. This is an interesting shot in that you get to see a bit more of Capewell’s yard.

As with the last shot, this glass negative is in fairly decent shape and gave me a nice clear image with a minimum of fuss in Photoshop.

Christening-Gown-Variation-detIt also gives a lot of the rugged detail of the lodgepole chair Capewell liked to use as a seat for many of his subjects. My guess is that he built the chair himself and was rightly proud of it.

Christening-Gown-VariationI assume this is Capewell’s backyard on Broadway in Westville, New Jersey. An interesting shed is visible in the background.

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: Grist and Saw Mill in Almonesson


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