Strings Attached

Strings AttachedHere’s a shot from John Capewell’s younger days when he wanted to play around with photography, composition and odd juxtapositions. He’s included himself in the center of this oddly posed crowd as he activates his camera’s shutter with a length of string.

Strings-Attached-detEverybody seems to be playing along with Capewell’s photographic efforts in relatively good spirits except for Mrs. Capewell wedged between her husband and a tree.

Strings-Attached-det-2Ella does not look wild about the whole idea of freezing in the woods while her husband indulges his photographic whims.

If you check out the Capewell Glass Negative Collection regularly, you’ll recognize the lady to the right of Capewell as the fashionable lady from last week’s post.

Fashionable-LadyOnce again, she looks to be dressed to the nines in cold weather wear which was probably very fashonable for the early twentieth century.

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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Last Week: The Great Indoors

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2 Responses to Strings Attached

  1. Old NFO says:

    He did some interesting things… No question… Pretty forward thinking for that time period!

  2. Joe_Williams says:

    That’s what I’ve thought as I’ve gone through these. Of course, this may have been shot halfway through the first decade of the twentieth century so there was a lot time for pursuits such as this.

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