f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Nowell's Camera Shop

Posted Wednesday, May 18, 2016, at 12:00 AM

May 1, 1971 Southeast Missourian

Bill Nowell of Nowell's Camera Shop demonstrates a Canonet QL17 35mm camera and a Pentax Spotmatic 35mm camera to Miss Susan Byrne and her future husband, Tom Reinagel. Miss Byrne is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Byrne, Cape Girardeau, and Mr. Reinagel's parents are Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Reinagel, Illmo. The couple are planning ahead so the excitement of their Aug. 7 wedding will be captured on film.

June 19, 1979 Southeast Missourian

There's a better way to remember a vacation than by stocking up on postcards--take your own photographs for lasting and special memories. Here, Bill Nowell of Nowell's Camera Shop, 609 Broadway, shows a compact Pentax Auto 110 camera and a Canon A-1 35mm camera.

June 21, 1984 Southeast Missourian, Area Business and History

William Nowell, a watchmaker, and his wife, Juvernia, opened Nowell's Camera Shop at 609 Broadway in the early 1950s. They took over a large film and processing trade that had been established at Haman's Drugstore at the same location. Originally carrying cameras and jewelry, the store has evolved into Cape's only photo specialty shop. In 1979 the Nowells retired, selling the store to Don Beattie, a long-time employee, and his wife, Teri, who have expanded the business in both merchandise, lines carried and services offered. Nowell's offers a wide selection of quality photographic merchandise backed by a friendly, knowledgeable staff.


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  • Bill Nowell was one of the nicest guys to ever walk the streets of Cape.

    There is no telling how many budding photographers he encouraged. He extended credit to kids like me without even checking with our parents.

    If I discovered late at night that I was out of a chemical or photo paper, he'd leave his house and open up just for me.

    Some buddies and I were cutting class at Central one day when I heard about a train vs. truck accident in South Cape. To keep from being obvious when we were leaving school, I had left my camera bag behind with all my equipment in it.

    I ran into Nowell's, grabbed a Pentax out of a display case and a roll of Tri-X off the shelf and dashed out, saying, "I'll be back to settle up in a little bit."

    Mr. Nowell didn't blink an eye.

    Here are the photos from that day.


    He was extraordinarily patient and didn't mind us hanging around. Even when I was barely a teenager, he never spoke down to me. He was one of the first adults who talked to me like a grownup.

    The front window of the shop no longer says "Kodaks," (something that caught the eye of Kodak trademark lawyers at one point), but the tiles in front of the door still read "Haman," and some of the original wood cabinets are still in the store.

    Mr. Nowell and his camera store will always be one of my fondest memories of Cape.

    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Wed, May 18, 2016, at 11:54 AM
  • I worked there part time from 1979-1984, after Mr. Nowell retired. Customers often spoke of their fondness for him. I believe the old massive humidor from the drug store days (predating Nowells) is in use by the present pet store.

    -- Posted by Mark Rutledge on Wed, Jun 1, 2016, at 12:00 AM