Theodore A. Hodgdon was born in 1902 in Berlin, N.H., and his family later moved to Springfield, Mass., where he grew to become an avid motorcyclist and aviator.
In 1926, Hodgdon graduated from college and was hired by the Indian Motocycle Company to edit the company’s newsletter, Indian News, produce publicity releases, and design advertisements destined for the motorcycling periodical trade. He also wrote the owner’s manuals that were included in the tool boxes of every new Indian motorcycle.
In 1929, Hodgdon was promoted to become Indian’s advertising manager, a position he held until 1934. He penned several magazine articles during this period, ranging from do-it-yourself motorcycling to aircraft. During World War II, Hodgdon wrote the instruction manual, How To Ride Rough Terrain, for the U.S. Army’s motorcycle riders.
The year 1954 was pivotal for Hodgdon. That spring, he became one of four founding members of The Antique Motorcycle Club of America, along with Henry Wing Sr., Henry Wing Jr., and Emmett Moore. Later that year he was elected as the president of BSA Inc., the U.S.A. factory branch of the company responsible for distributing BSA, Triumph and Ariel motorcycles.
During this period, Hodgdon served as secretary of the board of directors of the Motorcycle & Allied Trades Association as well as the chair of its public relations committee. He also served in various executive capacities in the American Motorcycle Association.
Although Hodgdon retired in 1968, he never lost his admiration for old motorcycles or for the industry. His book, Motorcycling’s Golden Age of the Fours, published in 1973, remains one of the antique hobby’s best documentations of the four cylinder motorcycle.
Hodgdon died in 1984, and was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.