The History of
Hodges Badge Company


Keeping it in the Family

When William passed in April 1947, he left the family business to his children to carry on his legacy and dream of growing the business. And they did just that! Fredrick’s wife Helen started to work at the business. She would sew Beauty and Ideal rosette tops at night to keep up with the growing demand. Fredrick II (aka Jim) started working for Hodges during the summer of 1951 when he was 12 years old. Jim was the messenger boy for the family in Downtown Boston. 

The company acquired a second roll leaf press, new foot operated eyeleters, and additional sewing machines. Needing a larger space to support growth of the business, Hodges Badge Company, Inc. moved to 185 Summer Street, Boston. With this move came a few more changes, many of them technologically advanced for its time, like ribbons being "pleated" on a Singer sewing machine, sales were added up on an adding machine every day, invoices were typed. Do not be fooled, these were advanced for their time. 

Ribbons were manufactured with hand set moveable brass type, each letter set individually, foot powered punches to make holes in eyeletted ribbons, orders were handwritten, documents were filed in shoe boxes. 

United States in the 1950's:

  • The Korean War started and lasted 3 years.
  • Dwight Eisenhower elected President for 2 terms.
  • 1950 census recorded over 150 million people, a 14% increase.
  • The UNIVAC is introduced as the first commercial computer.
  • XEROX introduces first commercial photocopier.
  • The Brown Vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision leads to desegregation of schools.
  • US launches first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus.
  • The Soviet Union launches first Sputnik satellite.
  • First color TVs went on sale.
  • Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th states.
  • Disneyland opened in California.
  • First Trans-Atlantic telephone cable began operating.
  • Interstate highways began to be built.

1952 Medal Flyer

1954 Stock Ribbons Flyer

1959 Rosette Flyer