The Falls

The-Falls-detWe know that John Capewell has been to Niagara Falls before, and I have a feeling that this is from one of his trips up there. I’ve never been up there so I can’t say definitively, but I think it’s a safe bet.

When I was first experimenting with methods of digitally processing these 5 inch by 7 inch glass negatives, my first success was with the image of the falls frozen over. That mind-boggling image is what egged me on to photograph the entire set of negatives.

The-Falls

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!

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3 Responses to The Falls

  1. Jerseyman says:

    Definitely the American Falls at Niagara.

  2. Jim Bessing Sr. says:

    I also would agree with Jerseyman Joe.

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