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About D. Danz and Sons, Inc.
& The History and Technology of Acrylic Prosthetics


During WW II, it became difficult to obtain the special glass manufactured in Germany that was used in the process of hand blowing glass artificial eyes. During that time, a new material was being developed, specifically, Methyl Methacrylate Polymer (plastic), which was also being used in dentistry in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Gottlieb T. Danz and Ursula Danz, in collaboration with a dental technician, Karl Rohrer, developed a method of manufacturing acrylic plastic (PMMA) prosthetic eyes (circa 1942). In the ensuing 20 years, the acrylic artificial eye became the material of choice for most patients in the United States. Two distinct advantages of the plastic prosthesis over the glass is that they do not shatter when dropped and do not etch as readily as the glass and therefore could be worn longer. Now, with the development of new techniques in the fitting and fabrication of ocular prosthetics along with new more successful surgical techniques and materials used by oculo-plastic surgeons and ophthalmologists, we look forward to many more years of serving patients with an ever-increasing quality of our services.


Today the Danz & Sons family and staff represent an incredible 8 generations of dedicated service in the highly specialized field of ocular prosthetics! We are committed to providing the highest level of care using the latest in technology and time honored excellence for each and every one of our patients. Our ocularists are thoroughly trained in the complete anatomy of the human eye and ocular system with a unique emphasis on prosthetics. Due to the specialized nature of this type of work, there are no formalized training programs in the U.S. for specialists entering this field. Because of this, most technicians acquire their skills and experience through apprenticeship with firms within the industry or from government training courses such as those available from the Veterans Administration. With ever-evolving technology and recent advances in the field of ocularistry, we constantly strive to stay on the leading edge with continuing education and symposiums with the worlds leading authorities in the ocular prosthetic profession. We are also accredited members of the American Society of Ocularists, a national organization of specialists in the field.

 

Our company has been serving patients in the California, Nevada, and Hawaii for over 33 years, providing our patients with custom fitted, hand sculptured and hand painted ocular prosthetics. Our office staff is also highly skilled in the fitting of thin shell prosthetics, (also know as Scleral Shells) over blind, disfigured eyes such as phthisis bulbi. We are also experienced in fitting state-of-the-art orbital implants such as the Hydroxyapatite (Bioeye) and Medpor, along with their pegging and sleeving systems.

 

Company History

Gottlieb T. Danz, Sr. established businesses in San Francisco in 1927 and Los Angeles in 1931. They were glass eye-makers, trained in Lauscha, Germany, the birthplace of the invention of special techniques in the fabrication and fitting of glass artificial eyes (circa early 1830s). Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, they traveled throughout the west coast, blowing custom glass eyes for individual patients. G. Ted Danz came to work for his father in the 1950’s, working with plastic as glass was slowly becoming a lost art.

 

G. T. Danz, BCO, married Dorothy Alcorta in 1974. At that time, the company G. Danz & Sons, Inc. was run by Ted and Phil Danz. Both brothers decided that they would operate certain divisions of the company. Phil Danz stayed in the Bay area, San Jose, Oakland & Sacramento. Ted Danz maintained his office in San Francisco also continuing with his satellite offices located in Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, Eureka & Redding, CA; Reno, NV; Medford, OR; and Boise, ID. Both brothers would operate in the San Francisco office on separate occasions until 1977.

 

Antonio Alcorta began as an apprentice/trainee in October 1976 under the tutelage of Ted Danz at the San Francisco location. Upon the demise of Ted Danz on July 8, 1978 the corporation was split between Phillip A. Danz & Dorothy Alcorta Danz. Mrs. Danz continued operation of her portion of the corporation under the name of D. Danz & Sons, Inc. for the next five years. On December 10, 1984 Dorothy A. Danz sold her corporation to her son & daughter-in-law, Antonio & Melissa Alcorta. Mrs. Danz then relocated herself to Oklahoma and retired shortly thereafter.

 

Antonio & Melissa began operation of D. Danz & Sons, Inc. on December 10, 1984 and they immediately expanded the company in the Idaho area. They also began traveling to Honolulu, HI four times per year at the requests of many physicians and patients on the Islands. They have since opened & maintain a permanent office in Las Vegas, NV.

 

Antonio has trained two Board Certified Ocularists, Sam F. Murano, II and Brian Grabowski. Sam purchased the locations in Idaho and has expanded his locations since under the name Intermountain Ocular Prosthetics. Brian Grabowski is now operating the offices in Eureka & Redding, CA, Medford & Eugene, OR and his permanent office located in Sacramento, CA, under the name, Grabowski & Associates. Antonio is currently training his son, Antonio L. Alcorta, I. He is expected to take over the Las Vegas location upon achieving his Certification.

 

Antonio has trained three Board Certified Ocularists, Sam F. Murano, II, Brian Grabowski and Antonio L. Alcorta, I. Sam purchased the locations in Idaho and has expanded his locations since under the name Intermountain Ocular Prosthetics. Brian Grabowski is now operating the offices in Eureka and Redding, CA, Medford and Eugene, OR and his permanent office located in Sacramento, CA, under the name, Grabowski & Associates. Antonio L. Alcorta I, is still working side by side with his father servicing their California, Nevada, and Hawaii patients, and are anticipating further area expansion in the near future.

 

Once Antonio L. Alcorta I, received his Board Certification, it was then a new member of the team was needed for assistance in the lab. Robert Chadd Reynolds was a welcome addition to D. Danz & Sons in 2012, when he began his apprenticeship under Antonio L. Alcorta I.

 

 

Antonio Sr.

ASO

Biography - Antonio Alcorta Sr.


President, Board Certified Ocularist, Diplomate of the ASO, Board of Directors with the OAC, BADO Member, prosthetic wearer for the past 49 years

 

My story is a simple one. I lost my eye at the age of 18 months old due to a bow and arrow accident. Being a Danz and Sons patient from 18 months to current. At age 4 my father passed away. Several years later my mother Dorothy married Gottlieb Theodore Danz Jr. (Ted Danz) who was my mentor and the master ocularist for G. Danz & Sons the parent company whose main office was located in San Francisco. After 4 years of college Mr. Danz passed away and at that point I came to work for the company full time. Then, after 5 years of working for the company I purchased it on December 10th 1984. I have developed this company to its current status. I absolutely love my job and have no desire to retire until it comes time that I am not able to do what I love to the satisfaction of myself and my patients.

Biography - Antonio L Alcorta I


Board Certified Ocularist, Diplomate of the ASO, BADO Member

 

ASO

Antonio Jr.

My story is also a simple one. As a young boy I watched my father in his practice and developed a love for the art of artificial eyes and patient care. As a child my goal was to become an ocular plastic surgeon but after a brief time working around patients, I knew that my dream had changed and that ocularistry was my life passion. I began working in the business in our lab at the age of 18 years old. Once my father (Antonio L. Alcorta Sr.) saw my abilities and my love for our work he then started my training without my being aware. I started my work as most other apprentices by performing small tasks such as polishing and mold making. After some time when my skills had developed, I then began working with my father hand-in-hand, developing new skills in regards to the importance of patient care and the skills needed to produce a quality custom fitted prosthesis.

 

 

Biography - Robert Chadd Reynolds

 

I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and grew up in the construction industry. I came to D. Danz & Sons in 2009 after losing my right eye in a work related accident. Through dealing with my loss, the help of the Alcorta's sense of humor and empathy made me realize I wanted to help people in similar situations. I started volunteering with them monthly when they worked at the Las Vegas office and found my purpose. I was determined to bug them until they gave me a job and in 2012 they gave me that chance. My goal is to become a Board Certified Ocularist, to continue the most fulfilling career I've ever imagined and give patients a sense of understanding from a point of view only an individual who has been through the situation can provide.