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Crouse-Hinds Electric Company was founded in Syracuse, New York in 1897 as a manufacturer of high-grade electrical specialities. Huntington Beard Crouse and Jesse Lorenzo HInds formed the company with Crouse’s inheritance and Hinds knowledge of the electrical engineering industry and experience in business and management. The partnership was drawn up and soon Crouse-Hinds Electric Company became one of the largest employers in Syracuse. Their first product offering was a changeable headlight for trolley cars.

They later shortened their name to Crouse-Hinds Company and beginning in the early 1920s specialized in the manufacture of traffic signals, controllers and accessories. In 1924 the company manufactured and installed the first traffic light in Syracuse at the corner of James and State Streets. Crouse-Hinds produced traffic signals locally for many years, including the famous Tipperary Hill upside down light on the city's Far Westside. The company name remained in use as a subsidiary of Cooper Industries, however, the traffic signal production ended in 1981 after Cooper sold the traffic products division.

The company acquired Belden, a wire and cable manufacturer founded in Chicago and on April 28, 1981, the newly merged company was then acquired by Cooper Industries of Houston, Texas. In 1982, after Cooper bought out the street lighting division of Westinghouse Electric Company, the Crouse-Hinds name was applied to the former Westinghouse-branded luminaires, which still continue to use the "OV" prefix today. In 1992, Component Products Inc. purchased the patents for Crouse-Hinds cabinets, mountings and bases from Traffic Control Technologies. Eaton Corporation bought Cooper Industries in 2012 and maintains the Crouse-Hinds brand.