This is both the greatest thing and biggest time suck of 2008: The Library of Congress has posted tens of thousands of photos on flickr. Here’s just one example: 40,000-plus shots from the Bain news agency taken around 1910-1912.
From the flickr page:
Welcome to the daily news scene from almost a hundred years ago, as photographed by the Bain News Service in about 1910-1912. We invite your tags and comments! Also, lots more identification information. (Most of these old photos came to the Library of Congress with very little description.)
This selected set of 1,500 photographs is from a large collection of almost 40,000 glass negatives. The entire collection spans 1900-1920 and richly documents sports events, theater, celebrities, crime, strikes, disasters, and political activities, with a special emphasis on life in New York City.
The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division preserves the original photographs and offers the digital copies to ensure their wide availability.
For more information and to see the rest of the collection, visit: lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/ggbainhtml/ggbainabt.h tml
There are a million great images here, but I think this one is my favorite: