"Drive 'em out with this Machine!" reads this ad from Ohio's Sidney Tool Company, which was printed in the November 1917 issue of American Builder.
At top a World War I tank battles troops who represent the "winter slump" that contractors deal with to this day. The machine they're referring to is a Famous Universal woodworking tool, a behemoth of levers, saws and drills that contractors could buy to increase manpower and, ultimately, make more money, even during the slow months. At the same time—before it became the multinational conglomerate it is today—General Electric was appealing to contractors to purchase its electric motors, which "were as good as an extra man, for it's the odd jobs and the special work that takes time." Of course, GE was sure to remind contractors that power for such a device was "only a few cents an hour." From reading these ads, it's apparent that productivity on the job is an eternal struggle.
Additional ads from this issue of American Builder: