Bruce Hodgdon started as a salesman for the Gas Service Company, but he soon borrowed cash from his life insurance policy and started his own distributing company that soon gained customers around the United States. He was always interested in firearms and hunting and often did custom loading for friends during World War II. Eventually, Hodgdon learned that the government had formerly burned all their surplus gun powder after World War I and he figured the same would happen after the second world war came to an end.
He soon managed to make a deal that allowed him to keep 50,000 pounds of surplus gun powder and he stored it at a rented farm. He started shipping out the powder in keg barrels and metal cans, then expanded his mail order business to include other firearms and ammunition. Today, the Hodgdon smokeless propellants are still a hit among reloaders and people around the world enjoy his custom made powders for rifles, handguns, and shotshell loads.