Ray Edgar Dodge
(Ray Edgar, Edgar, Francis Marion, John Dodge)
A descendant of John Dodge and Sarah Ives
Dunlaps Teenee Weenee Circus
Excerpt from: The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, J.T. White, current, Vol. G: 482-83, 1946
Dodge, Ray Edgar, Manufacturer, was born in Woodburn, Oregon, Aug. 4, 1900, son of Edgar and Myrtle (Scobert) Dodge, grandson of Francis Marion and Jane (Caples) Dodge and great-grandson of John and Sarah (Ives) Dodge. His father was president and manager of the Dodge Department Store , Inc. at Eugene, Oreg. Ray E. Dodge was graduated A.B. at Oregon State College in 1924. A champion middle-distance runner, he was a member of the the U.S. track team at the Olympic games in Paris in 1924 and in the following year won events at the international games in Berlin. Later he won many championships in the United States, Canada, and Europe , including the 600-meter indoor (Canadian), the 1000-meter outdoor (British), the Norwegian 1500-meter outdoor and the 1000-meter indoor national championship in Chicago in 1927.
In 1927 Mr. Dodge and Vernon Ascher organized the firm of Dodge & Ascher in Chicago to manufacture high school and college jewelry. All the stockholders in the firm were outstanding members of the 1924 Olympic track team. Mr Dodge introduced modern designs in class rings and advanced methods of sales policy, and the new enterprise met with success. Soon he became interested in the business of distributing medals and trophies. As the sales of these approximated in volume the amount of his manufactured product, he decided to undertake their manufacture and leave the college jewelry field. Accordingly he accepted an offer from a competing firm and sold his interests in the firm of Dodge and Ascher in 1930.
He then organized and became president of Dodge, Inc., of Illinois, and Dodge , Inc., of California. Factories for the manufacture of medals and trophies were set to work modeling and sculpturing the most extensive line of figures and interchangeable trophies ever attempted. The sales doubled in the second year and trebled in the third. In 1935 two competitive firms were absorbed and a stock room was opened in New York city. With this accomplished Mr. Dodge in 1936 extended his activities into other fields. A New York assembly and finishing plant was purchased, and early in 1937 he began to manufacture hollow ware, flatware, gift items and kindred lines. In 1939 he personally purchased all common and preferred stock of McClelland Barclay Art Products, Inc., and Pompeian Art Products, both of New York city. With it's four factories (two in New York city, one each in Chicago and Los Angeles), Dodge, Inc., is the world's largest trophy manufacturer and one of the world's largest gift and souvenir manufacturers. Besides the manufacturing of gifts and trophies the Los Angeles plant manufactures one of the most exclusive silverware lines of Old English reproductions in this country.
On Jan. 1, 1941, Dodge, Inc., formed a new corporation under the name of Dodge, Inc., of New Jersey and later formed the Dodge, Inc., of Florida. The former company operates two factories in Newark, N.J., and operates in these buildings the McClelland Barclay Art Products, Inc., and the eastern branch of Dodge, Inc. Each company operates separately but under one management. The firm of Dodge, Inc., is a closed corporation, Mr. Dodge holding all the stock.
Following entry of the United States into the second World war and the curtailment in the manufacture of trophies, silverware and other objects because of the war, The Los Angeles and Newark plants converted their facilities to the manufacture of aircraft parts and other vital war items with great success.
Mr. Dodge is a member of the Los Angeles chamber of commerce, the Merchants and Manufacturers Association, Kappa Sigma and the Los Angeles Athletic, Hollywood Athletic, Bel Air Bay, Los Serranos Country, Newport Harbor Yacht and Catalina Yacht clubs. In religion he is a Congregationalist and in politics a Republican. He married in Los Angeles, May 3, 1934, to Ada (Williams) Ince, daughter of Calvin Williams of Knoxville, KY., and has two children: Diana Ada and Darlene Rae Dodge.