On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11’s Eagle module landed on the moon on a plain known as The Sea of Tranquility. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, causing our staff and leadership at Hudson Technologies to reflect on the company’s own involvement with the space program.
Since our founding as Hudson Tool & Die back in 1940, we have operated in a spirit of continuous technological innovation. Ultimately, this desire to improve existing technologies led to our involvement with NASA and our support of the space program.
Hudson and the Apollo 11 Medal
Farley Fitzpatrick’s family has been involved in the operation of Hudson continuously since its inception. In the early 1970s, Farley recalls that NASA issued an award to the employees at Hudson for their participation in the space program. The award was for the battery cases Hudson manufactured for use on lunar rovers in the Apollo missions.
Charles Batka—Farley’s grandfather and Hudson’s founder—generously had the medals cast in 14-karat gold for all of the employees at Hudson. This was unusual at the time for employee medals, which were usually cast in bronze, pewter, or silver.
The commemorative medals were 30 millimeters in diameter, 2 millimeters thick, weighed about 15 grams, and were marked as “14K gold.” On the front, the medal contains an etching of an astronaut holding an American flag along with the following inscription:
UNITED STATES SPACESHIP APOLLO 11
MOON LANDING JULY 20, 1969
On the reverse side, the inscription lists the names of the three astronauts who went to the moon on Apollo 11—Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins—along with Armstrong’s famous quote:
“THAT’S ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND”
The medal also contains the name of the company and its location in 1969—Hudson Tool & Die Co., Inc. Newark, N.J. USA—as well as the company logo from the time period.
World’s Fair of Money®
Hudson’s Apollo medal will be on display at the World’s Fair of Money in Chicago, Illinois, on August 13-17, 2019. The coin displayed there was acquired from a former Hudson employee by Eric Holcomb, a retired aerospace engineer from Boeing. Holcomb is a long-time collector of space-related medals.
Hudson’s medal has great historic value. The medal will be displayed with more than $1 billion worth of rare historic coins at the fair.
Hudson: Then and Now
As represented by this rare medal, Hudson Technologies has been a tireless technological innovator from our inception in the 1940s through today. Our involvement with the space program spurred a long relationship with the government and the private aerospace sector. We continue to provide a broad range of custom metal stampings for aerospace and defense applications today.
Hudson’s focus on quality sets us apart from our competition. Our quality management systems, automated turnkey solutions, and sustainable manufacturing practices make us an ideal provider of parts and components for aerospace and many other industries.
For more information about our capabilities or our history, please contact us.