The New York City Municipal Archives just released a database of over 870,000 photos from its collection of more than 2.2 million images of New York throughout the 20th century. Their subjects include daily life, construction, crime, city business, aerial photographs, and more. It is an amazing collection.
Alan Taylor for The Atlantic spent hours lost in these amazing photos, and gathered a group of 53 and posted them here. I pulled five of my favorites. All images are via New York City Municipal Archives: