It’s been busy lately and I’m finding myself shoveling against the tide of time so I picked this glass negative by John Capewell to run this week without the foggiest clue as to what I’m running. I didn’t have a chance to submit this to one of our favorite experts like Jerseyman so I’m leaving this one up to you, dear readers. Where is this?
At first I thought I was looking at some historical site being that there statue standing prominently, but as I examined the photograph more closely, I noticed the angel and what look like tombstones off to the left in the background. That may be a mausoleum on the right.
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!
Like us on Facebook!
Last Week: Child of the Corn