It is quite safe to say that the Buddhist interest in meditation is much higher than a few hundred years ago. David Chapman argues that vipassana was basically reinvented around 1900. His post is certainly controversial, but he provides sources, so it is a good starting point for researching the subject.
It is rather certain that some of the vipassana techniques originated in the 19th century, e.g. the "New Burmese" method was created by The-lon Sayadaw:
According to Strong Roots, cited below, “The-Lon Sayadaw… put this textual guidance [the Visuddhimagga] into practice without a personal teacher to guide [him] in mindfulness practice” (p. 110).
Origins of some techniques are less certain. For instance, Chapman argues that Ledi Sayadaw invented his own technique. However, an answer to a related question provides sources that say that he only learnt a technique that had been practiced in the caves of Sagaing Hills:
Ledi Sayadaw learned the technique of Vipassana which had remained being taught in the caves of the Sagaing Hills, which was honeycombed with meditation caves and dotted with forest monasteries
In any case, even if is the case, the meditation wasn't widespread at that time. In The Birth of Insight: Meditation, Modern Buddhism, and the Burmese Monk Ledi Sayadaw, Erik Braun writes:
This is not to say that no one meditated prior to the colonial period, but [...] such practice was limited, especially among the laity.