In a Mad Men inspired move, Newsweek is running a series of ads that reflect the evolving notion of masculinity in sales:

Sure, we haven't invented a time machine yet. But at least we have ads. As Don Draper, the macho marketing maven at the center of AMC's Mad Men, once put it, "advertising is based on one thing—happiness." Ads don't so much create desire as reflect it, showing us who we are and what we want—even when we're not quite sure ourselves. Last year, my colleague Tony Dokoupil and I wrote a cover story for NEWSWEEK on how the definition of masculinity—at work and at home—needs to change if America wants to stay competitive in the 21st century. One of the most rewarding parts of my research was scouring the NEWSWEEK archives for signs of how American manhood had changed already. Here are 21 of the most revealing (and/or ridiculous ads) I discovered, organized chronologically from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Consider the parallel changes America's economic and political landscape has endured since these early ads. It's worth noting that every American president thus far has been male, and that men comprise 83% of both the Senate and the House. 

Masculinity is no small part of American leadership.

Starting with the first image, where a woman urges her husband to hide the dishtowel he's holding:

Marketing snapshots take us through the image of men as the sole provider for their families ("with stakes THIS high.."), and then to what looks like (but isn't) an emasculated George W. Bush about to sip (gasp) his chuggable beer:

Check out all the ads for a little manly nostalgia. Are men today more motivated by that traditional provider role? Are they more likely to respond to a wayward-eyed temptress daring them to stay edgy ("Darling, the most exciting men I know smoke Masterpiece tobacco!")?

Finally here's some vintage NRA propaganda to send you along to your castle: