Some of the most interesting, creative (and amusing) ad concepts of the 40's and 50's are the ones that were devised by and for American industry in the period after World War II.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower didn't use the term "Military Industrial Complex" until 1961, but the notion of industry playing a dual role of defense contractor and supplier of domestic goods is telegraphed in many of the ads that appeared in Fortune magazine a decade earlier.
Also intriguing are the multitude of ads that signaled the dawn of the technological age - and the fervor with which industry embraced its role in steering America to its manifest destiny of world leadership through scientific advancement...
... atomically fused to the tenets of capitalism.
And that philosophy reveals a particularly amusing irony of mid-century industrial advertising, because this bastion of Capitalism thoroughly embraced the style and symbolism of Communist propaganda art: the handsome, noble, bare chested worker, heroically pounding away with a hammer on hot iron; beating swords into ploughshares while glorious factories rise all around him.
I mean really, if it was "better to be dead, than red"...
... what's with the preponderance of red in these ads?
* My Industry Flickr set.