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OSSC Fellow

OSSC Councilor (1967-1968)

OSSC Golf Chair (1997-2006)

-Fred Hansen-



    Fred Hansen passed May 22, 2007 in Anaheim and is survived by 4 children, 17 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren and twins en route.  The OSSC was well-represented at his Funeral, as President Charles Gaugh, VP Donn Silberman, Secretary Fred Houston, and past Presidents Arnie Bazensky, Peter Nance, Reddy Chirra, Hal Johnson, and Tom Godfrey were there. Gaugh and Nance worked long ago at Hansen's company, Optical Instruments Corporation, but were still meeting Fred for breakfast monthly until just before Fred's passing. 


    In May 1999, Wilfred J. “Fred” Hansen was elected the 20th Fellow of the Optical Society of Southern California in recognition of his 50 years of support and service to the Society and to the Southern California Optical Industry. Fred was awarded a lifetime membership, Fellows badge and plaque at an induction ceremony during the October 9th meeting of the OSSC in Fullerton, California, attended by Fellows Al Shurkus, George Matter, and Tom Godfrey. Fred was the Society’s Golf Chairman twice in the 1980’s but has served in that capacity every year since the early 1990’s; during that time he raised thousands of dollars for the Society’s golf tournament prizes. He was also a Councilor in 1967-68.


    All twelve past Presidents who responded to a poll by Historian and Fellows Chairman Godfrey strongly supported recognition of Hansen. One of the past Presidents wrote: "Fred Hansen has a record of distinguished work in the field of optical fabrication in Southern California. He has started multiple businesses and served the local optical community well. Our Engineering Service group would often recommend OIC for fabrication services (especially for systems with tight component wedge tolerances which OIC seemed to be particularly adept at holding). If you combine his long active participation (including as Corporate Sponsor & Councilor), his dedicated service as OSSC Golf chairman for so many years, and his local reputation for excellence in optics manufacturing, he is very qualified for this honor."


Read Fred Hansen's Fellows Profile


Fred's Biographical notes are provided below.


Born 1/2/27 Jerome, Idaho
Married to Carolyn Hansen four children Kathryn, Tyler,Darcy & Janette
Attended Inglewood High school, El Camino Junior College and U.S.C. Business Administration.


1947 thru 1957 Employed at McCulloch Motors
1956 thru 1960 Employed at Pacific Optical Corp.(Owner)
1961 thru 1963 Employed at Hayward Scientific Glass(Owner)
1964 thru 1985 Employed at Optical Instruments Corp. (Owner)
1986 thru 1990 Employed at Sigma Corp.
1991 thru 1999 Employed at Optical Instrumentation (Owner)


Information Available:

  • Lens Centration at O.I.C.
  • Misconceptions in the design and
  • Fabrication of Optical Assemblies

     Attended first Optical Society meeting in 1953 while Gene Thorburn was President.  Have served 1 year as Councilor for O.S.S.C and several years as Golf Chairman.  I started work on the burr bench at McCulloch Motors and then transferred to machine shop and went to school nights.  After doing this for 5 years I was transferred to the Accounting Dept. and became responsible for 3 subsidiaries:
    Pacific Optical Corp., Rhodes Lewis and Paxton Products.
    Worked with Felix Bednarz and Gordon Brown Sr.


    While working for McCulloch, I was asked by the CEO, John Ryde to "Dress-up" the Pacific Optical Balance Sheet so that it could be sold.  I requested permission to submit a bid and was told to prepare a business plan.  Two weeks later I submitted a plan that stated that Gene Thorburn, Art Lochner and I would make a down payment of $21,000.00 and then would pay $1,500.00 per month until the Note was paid in full.  John Ryde had an even better proposal whereby we took over the company for nothing down and paid 50% of profits until the Note was paid in full.  Obviously we took the second proposal but whereas the first proposal gave Gene, Art & myself 33% ownership, the final ownership became 55% to John Ryde and 15% to the other 3 of us.  Some of the major programs at P.O.C.6î F/2.8 made for the Navy Cameras used for the the photographs of Cuba, Boeing Cargo Viewers, Paramount Pictures Lenses used to film the Ten Commandments, Polishing Machines to polish 8" X 4" Plastic Sheets prior to stretching.


    One Saturday, Gene & I were talking about our childhood and I ended up challenging him to Arm-wrestle.  Gene was 6' 5" and I was 5' 7" so it was a real Mutt & Jeff match.  We were straining to get the best of one another when in walked a customer.  He said my name is Mike Todd and I need some lenses immediately.  We did help him to get the lenses but we often wondered what he thought of us..  Some of the people I worked with Dave Newman and Hutch Phipps.


    In 1961 I left P.O.C. and joined Hayward Scientific Glass as President.  At that time the only American Companies making optical glass were Bausch-Lomb, Corning, Eastman Kodak and Hayward.  The major programs at Hayward Rare Earth Glass for a Ballistic Camera, Neodyuim doped glass for Laser Rods,C-3 Mirror Blanks for the Minute-Man Missile, and light weight flint glasses for space programs.  Sold Hayward to Hycon who in turn was purchased by McDonald Douglas.  People involved were Verne Hamilton, Richard Lindberg, George Matter, Paul Halderman, Glenn Wooters.& J.L. Wood.


    In 1964 started O.I.C. with Gene Thorburn, Leo Houlihan, John Needham, Clyde Hall and myself, each one of us having a specific responsibility.  Our first job was for Lockheed Missiles and over the first few years they represented 40% of our business.  Later on C.A.I. supported 30% of our business.  The major programs for O.I.C. were Double Dove Prisms 4.0" X 8.75" with the 45 degree angles on each half made equal to within 2 arc seconds and pyramidal error to less than 2 seconds.  The two halves were cemented together with the specifications being that the cement wedge have a tolerance of ? arc seconds.  Thousands of Porro Prisms for the TOW Sight, Primary Mirrors for Stinger Program, TVO Optoliner for TV Camera Testing, Flys Eye Lens for Space Surveillance, 20 to 1 Optically Compensated Zoom Lens with the mount made of a solid billet of 416 SS.  During this time so many friends were made it is impossible to list them.


    Sold O.I.C. in 1985 to Seattle based company called Sigma for stock.  In 1986 Sigma filed for bankruptcy and transferred $1,500,000.00 of debt to O.I.C..  This was a no win situation but when they transferred their management down to O.I.C. this guaranteed failure.  During this period from 1985 to 1990 I served off and on as President, Sales Manager and Financial Adviser.  I was retired when O.I.C. was auctioned off.


    In March 1991 Optical Instruments had a bankruptcy sale.  Prior to the sale a group was formed to buy some of the equipment needed to continue production.  We were successful in our bidding and had sales orders placed with us almost immediately Major Programs: Fingerprint equipment, Simulator Equipment, Projection Lenses, Variable Beam Expanders, and silicon wafers.


    On October 19, 1997 our building and equipment were completely destroyed by fire.  We salvaged what equipment we could and contacted our customers to let them know what our plan of recovery was going to be.  By 1 November 1997 we were set up in a new building in Anaheim and thanks to J.L.Wood and Lonnie Hoyle supplying us with equipment we were back in production.  By 10/1/98 we were able to move back to Buena Park in a rebuilt Building.


Information Available:

  • Lens Centration at O.I.C.
  • Misconceptions in the design and
  • Fabrication of Optical Assemblies


Corporate Address:  14271 Jeffrey Road, Suite 136
Irvine, California 92620
The OSSC is a non-profit 501(C)3 tax exempt corporation.
The OSSC does NOT endorse candidates for public office or contribute to political candidates or campaigns.

Updated: 16 September 2019
Added 9 October Meeting Registration