I could spend days just wandering through The New York Times’ ancient archives. Indeed, I have spent days there. I discover tales of fiendish kodakers lying in wait to assault the good ladies of Newport and luddites’ letters decrying the telegraph. My favorite yet may be this from The Times of November 3, 1901, reporting on the disruption of newspaper illustrators by photographers.
It explains that when President Lincoln was assassinated, Harper’s Weekly dispatched illustrators by train to Washington to sketch places and people prominent in the news. They rushed back by train, sketching as they rode, and came into the offices ready to then trace their drawings onto wood to be handed over to engravers.
If there was not time to go to the scene and return, illustrators were known at the time to use another technology, the telegraph, to describe their drawings to an illustrator on the other end. “The artists on the home end of the line on receiving this description would follow it in their drawings, and in many cases they turned out finished sketches so nearly like the ones made by the men on the stop that they touched on the mysterious.”
At the time, one illustrated newspaper in New York had 85 people on its art staff. The camera eliminated many of their jobs.