Hosmer: 100 Years of Prosthetic Development and Manufacturing

In the early 1900s, there weren't a lot of regulations in place to protect the safety of U.S industrial workers, and terminal devices for upper-limb prostheses were somewhat limited. This is the cultural landscape that D.W. Dorrance found himself in when he underwent a traumatic amputation of his arm as a result of a workplace accident in his job as a lumber supervisor. Seeking a better solution for his own needs, he invented the split hook in 1912 and founded the company that is today known as Hosmer, Campbell, California. The O&P EDGE congratulates Hosmer on 100 years in business. The following images provide a glimpse into the evolution of this century-old company.


1912: D.W. Dorrance demonstrates the split hook shortly after its creation. The hook was a significant step forward in terminal devices of the time in its ability to allow the user to grip and manipulate objects.


1930s: D.W. Dorrance performs daily tasks such as driving with the split hook.


1943: The Army Prosthetics Research Laboratory works on a series of new designs that later became part of the Hosmer-Dorrance product line.


1960s: Hosmer Vice President Jerry Leavy, who has bilateral upper-limb amputations, steps into the Hosmer-Dorrance corporate airplane. In 1969, the A.J. Hosmer Corporation officially merged with the D.W. Dorrance Company and incorporated as Hosmer Dorrance Corporation.


1980: Hosmer was an early developer and manufacturer of the electronic terminal device with the introduction of the NY Electric Elbow.


1996: Hosmer officially joins Fillauer Companies, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

2012: Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Hosmer continues to expand its lower-limb product line. Today, the company manufactures both upper- and lower-limb prosthetics products.


Photographs courtesy of Fillauer Companies, Chattanooga, Tennessee.