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The modern technique of wood engraving dates back to the 18th century, when Thomas Bewick first used it to rapidly produce high-quality yet inexpensive images by incising an image into the end-grain of a hard piece of wood. It quickly became the means by which publishers would choose illustrate books which were increasingly be commsumed by people from all walks of life. By the end of the 19th century, however, photography all but displaced wood engraving as a means of producing images for publication. Luckily in 20th and 21st centuries, wood engraving has experienced a renaissance, and today it functions as a creative and vital artistic medium used by contemporary artists working around the globe.