Robert Clive Hudson

 Robert Clive Hudson 

17th March 1932 – 5th November 2021 

Robert Clive Hudson, known as “Clive” was one of Orthodontics larger than life characters.
Born before the War in Bradford, the son of a cabinet maker, he did his dental technician training at technical college three nights a week in a room shared by plumbers. On qualification he undertook his National Service with the RAF. He was “dental” so assigned to catering – of course. The upside was that he ate very well!

Throughout his career, he was always to be found at orthodontic conferences with his engaging smile, meeting and greeting and if possible, selling.  Clive was well known to the orthodontic profession, firstly as a first-class technician running “Sheffield Orthodontics”.

He pioneered the use of two double denture flasks to produce eight heat cured orthodontic appliances simultaneously.  He was instrumental in the design and manufacture of “Polybases” which revolutionised the cost and ease of production of study models, and similarly transformed the clinical registration of a protrusive bite by designing and producing the “Exactobite”. These both demonstrated the brilliance of his simple but ingenious designs.  

He was at the forefront of computerisation of laboratory workflow by providing the raw data and system requirements for development by a Leeds IT company.  He expanded his business interests with the formation of “Hudson Orthodontics”, an orthodontic supply company, and became the sole agent for Rocky Mountain products.

Clive was appointed as Orthodontic Technician by Jim Gardiner, Consultant Orthodontist at Charles Clifford Dental Hospital in Sheffield. His work was wide ranging, including work for the oral surgeons and appliances for cleft patients. He designed and produced a fully articulated support for a baby with Pierre Robin Syndrome to lie prone and was instrumental in recommending the use of a mirror for the child to see its own face to reduce the stress of not being able to see another person. He even became involved with the design and production of vaginal moulds and an innovative mechanism for their retrieval!

He had an aptitude and love of teaching and was made a lecturer. He trained technical apprentices and would teach 50 undergraduates at a time. He made a teaching film of the construction of an Adams Clasp and he even persuaded Alvar Liddell to provide the voice over. This film won a silver cup in Paris 1970 for dental films.

Clive had a chance meeting at an exhibition with Stuart and Sandra Moss from the USA, as a result of which he started to import the “Moss” Cephalostat which was competitively priced and relatively compact. He sold nearly 100 units mainly to specialist orthodontic practices.

Following the sale of Hudson Ltd, he joined Stuart and Sandra Moss in a remarkable enterprise.
They purchased land in Sussex where they had noticed the similarity to that of the Champagne region. They planted Chardonnay vines which to that date had been thought to be unsuitable for England. They produced a sparkling wine which was of very high quality. Although the vineyard and winery were eventually sold on, Nytimber wine is now recognised as one of the foremost sparkling wines in England and beyond.

When others might have been thinking of retirement Clive formed a new production company Archform with his daughter Pennie, which morphed into Archformbyte at her suggestion to reflect the movement into the digital age.
The British Orthodontic Society has been recording the Oral History of UK Orthodontics. When the Archive and Museum Committee of the BOS was looking for its first recording of an influential non-clinician, Clive was at the top of the list. At the time of the recording in 2017, Clive was in the process of making a guitar and digitally designing a new aligner system for Class II treatments. In addition to generously giving his time for the recording at his home, he donated some rare items to the museum including the teaching film of the construction of an Adams Clasp and its associated silver trophy.

Clive is missed by his clinical, technical, and business colleagues alike. Our sympathy is with Pennie, his daughter who continues the business and to Brenda his wife who was not only the love of his life but also the driver and partner in many of Clive’s businesses and endeavours.

Austin J Banner – BOS Archive and Museum committee.
Feb 2022


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