Before the development of halftone images, newspaper illustrations would have almost certainly been made by wood engravings. These were handmade prints engraved on the end grain of wood. In the 1850s and 1860s, it became common for these to be based on photographs.
The first halftone image in a newspaper dates from the 1873, though widespread use didn’t happen until the 1880s. Halftone is a photomechanical process in which an photo is converted into dots of varying sizes or densities through a mechanical screen, which enables it be printed in black and white, with the illusion of different tones.
Then in 1880 The New York Graphic became the first newspaper to print a photo, the first halftone, rather than an engraved image. The image was a reproduction of a news photograph. The image featured Shantytown dwellings in the city, taken by Henry J. Newton.