In 1938, industry was slowly pulling America out of a long and dark depression. Environmental health and safety was top of mind and machines could coat golf balls at a clip of 800 per hour. Ah, what a swell time!
Down the road from NED's offices, a welding company by the name of Lincoln-Electric was pushing arc welders. Not much has changed in that department. The welding masks are a little more high tech, though.
The winner of best ads goes to H.S. Cover. Great fonts, great illustrations. And a real guy on a cartoon body. Classic! Remember they didn't even have Photoshop back then, making these all the more impressive.