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The illustrated newspaper became a significant news medium in the mid 19th Century. The three major ones in the United States were Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper started in 1855, Harper’s Weekly in 1857 and the New York Illustrated News in 1859. These popular papers brought events, politics, people, and even the latest fashions to a news-hungry public at an affordable price. Best of all, they were illustrated with wood engravings taken from drawings, sketches, paintings and the newly growing field of photography. Artists, on location, would do detailed sketches that were then rushed to the main office of the newspaper. There a staff of engravers used the sketches to create engravings on blocks of boxwood. Since the blocks were about 4 inches across they would have to be composited together to make one large illustration. The wood engraving was then copied via the electrotype process to produce a metal printing plate for publication.

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