The History of
Hodges Badge Company
Washington Missouri here we come!
Ted continued working at Hodges until 1980 when he retired at 80 years old. The growth of the business in the 1980s was rapid and soon exceeded the manufacturing capacity in Rhode Island. Our rapid growth was not compatible with our limited space and the difficult hiring situation in New England (unemployment was 2.4% in Rhode Island back then!) Jim Hodges now realized that he needed to expand the workforce beyond the labor market available in Portsmouth alone.
Jim and Sheila Hodges set out to find an additional location for Hodges. Armed with lots of promotional flyers from regional development groups, they took a driving tour of the Midwest. In 1987. Jim signed a deal with the Washington (MO) Civic and Industrial Development Board to purchase a 12,000 square foot building in the Town and Country industrial park
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in Washington, Missouri.
Joining the family business in 1989, Rick was instrumental in getting the new Missouri operation up and running. Thanks to the LeMaires, who moved from RI to run the new operation, production was soon humming along, and Rick immersed himself in the technology end of things. Getting computers in RI and MO to communicate was a huge challenge. Armed with Rick's hardware expertise and Jim's software programming skills, they built an advanced computer system which ran the company until 2018!
United States in the 1980's:
- United States defeated the Soviet Union in Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey in the 1980 Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid, N.Y.
- Ronald Reagan nominates Judge Sandra Day O'Connor as first woman on the Supreme Count
- Iranian hostage crisis ends with 52 hostages released.
- IBM introduced the first personal computer.
- First version of Windows operating system was released.
- Apple launched their Macintosh computer.
- Xerox markets first computer mouse.
- MTV is launched.
- The Berlin Wall is torn down.
- Astronaut Sally Ride becomes first woman in space.
1985 Employees in front of
Schoolhouse Lane in Portsmouth, R.I.
From left to right:
Jim, Sheila, Sally and Rick Hodges
1989 School Catalog