On Maneuvers

maneuvers-detHere’s a shot by John Capewell from the time when men wore straw hats and the army still utilized horses for transport.

Sadly, I couldn’t get a lot of detail out of this negative. It looks like Capewell shot it late in the day.

I have no idea wear it was shot. My parents had a little place in Browns Mills, New Jersey, and back when we vacationed there, the streets were never paved. It sort of reminds me of that area, but most places were probably unpaved in the Garden State 100 or so years ago.

Any guesses as to where this is or what’s going on are welcome in the comments section below.


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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2 Responses to On Maneuvers

  1. Bob Philbin says:

    The boater hat gives it away as probably the pre-1930 era. ..Not many wires on the poles, and those equally electrical. and phone. 12 insulators, 6 lower and 6 upper. Field artillerymen wear campaign hats (Smoky the Bear). The hats have the ‘Montana Peak’ adopted after 1911 by the Army, and appear to be soft rather than rigid, so that may barrow it down. Add in the frock coat on the civilian and his necktie, and I’d guess WWI, 1917-18. Probably a settled area, else he wouldn’t be walking. There was rapid demobilization immediately after, so maneuvers would be right out the window. No pines though….rail fence, driveways…fields…hmmm might be Pemberton area,

  2. Joe_Williams says:

    Thanks for the info, Bob! I figured that military buffs would be right on this.

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