The History of
Hodges Badge Company


1920s: Where it all began. 

It was an unusually chilly morning in Milford, New Hampshire on September 18, 1920. The sun was bright, and a proud William Hodges stood in front of a red brick building with utter excitement. This was the beginning, where it all started, Hodges Badge founded by William Hodges. 

William worked for another badge company that just recently closed its doors due to financial hardships, now stood unemployed for the first time in his life. With a family to feed, a dream and seeing the possibilities in front of him, purchased a printing press from his now defunct employer to start his own business. With much resistance from his wife and children, he forged forward with a promise to his family, that he would succeed. All he requested from them, was to be supportive in the beginning days. William would work long hours printing the ribbons, while his two daughters, Anna Marice and Emaline Genevive, stitched the ribbons. Word traveled fast that Hodges Badge was a reliable quality business to purchase ribbons. Business was booming. 

Many big events happened in the 1920s, better known as the “Roaring Twenties”. Social and political changes were all the topic at every event in the United States. Many more Americans were now living in cities. The nation’s economic growth more than doubled. Hodges Badge Company moved to the Greater Boston Area into a two-room loft space at 166 Essex Street Boston, MA. Frederick J. Hodges, William’s son and his oldest child, left the Boston Marine Railroad and joined the company as a full-time employee in 1924. The company was growing faster than William could have ever imagined. 

(“Buildings South Side of Essex St., Buildings East Side Washington St., Boston, Mass., Undated.”) Pictured are office buildings on Essex Street, Boston, MA, in the mid-1920s. Hodges Badge Company’s first location in Boston, was located at 166 Essex Street Boston, MA, and is shown among these buildings.

The rosettes depicted are from the badge company that William Hodges worked for before he started Hodges Badge Company. These rosettes are still proudly displayed at the headquarters in Portsmouth, RI.

United States in the 1920's:

  • The Roaring '20s were a time of a booming stock market, speakeasies, short skirts, the Charleston, and jazz.
  • Women won the right to vote.
  • World War I ended.
  • Babe Ruth hit his home run record of 60 home runs.
  • Mickey and Minnie Mouse first appeared in a film.
  • The American Professional Football League was formed.
  • Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly over the Atlantic Ocean.