The History of
Hodges Badge Company


Change is on the Horizon 

The 1970s was another decade of change for Hodges Badge Company. Hodges’ first automatic ribbon eyeleters were purchased in 1971. It was truly a love-hate relationship. They were controlled by reed switches and relays. Three days a week it eyelets a lot, and I mean a lot of ribbons. The other two days, you repair it. 

The first computer was purchased in 1972. It stored data on magnetic cards which were hand inserted in a slot to read the customers’ - name, address, account balance, etc. information. The company now had a real time, once a month, accounts receivable balance and the shoebox was no longer needed! 

The lease at 53 Smith Place, Cambridge was ending in 1975, and Jim started looking for a new and bigger location in the beginning of 1974. After considering many locations, Newport County, Rhode Island was chosen. Hodges built its very first Company owned building. In November of 1975, construction was finished on a 10,000 sq. ft. building on Schoolhouse Lane in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. 

Hodges Badge Company Employees working hard at
Schoolhouse Lane in Portsmouth, RI.

By 1977 we had purchased three automatic presses and a second Ludlow to keep up with demand. Hodges hit $1 million in sales for the first time and the mag card computer couldn’t keep up. Jim bought our first Basic Four computer. 

Hodges Badge Company's new Location,
Schoolhouse Lane in Portsmouth, Rhode Island

October 1974 Hospital Holiday Flyer

A This is an example of an overhead that was used to print flyers and magazines. Sheila Hodges, Jim’s wife, who was in charge of marketing would create these and bring them to the printer to be used to for Hodges Badge Company’s marketing.

United States in the 1970's:

  • Walt Disney World opened in Orlando, Florida.
  • Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.
  • President Nixon orders invasion of Cambodia, widening the war in Vietnam.
  • Anti-war protestors threaten to shut down the government.
  • Star Wars premiered to great acclaim and box office records.
  • The Beatles break up.
  • Apollo 15 lands on the moon.
  • The microprocessor, the foundation of today's computers, was introduced.
  • The Watergate scandal dominates the news.
  • US signs peace pact and pulls troops out of Vietnam.
  • The Supreme Court rules on Roe Vs. Wade, legalizing abortion.
  • The mobile phone is invented.
  • US celebrates 200 years as a nation.
  • Sadam Hussein becomes president of Iraq.
  • Apple Computer founded by Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak. 
  • Exiled Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran and declares Islamic republic.
  • Iranian militants sieze US embassy in Tehran and holds hostages.