Crouse-Hinds Company

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Crouse-Hinds Company
FateStill operating in name only as a subsidiary of Eaton Corporation, however, traffic products division was divested in 1981
FoundedJanuary, 1897
FounderHuntington Beard Crouse (1872-1943) and Jesse Lorenzo Hinds (1846-1928)
Area served
United States
ProductsIndustrial, explosionproof electrical equipment, instrumentation, commercial products

Crouse-Hinds Electric Company, a manufacturer of high grade electrical specialties, was established in 1897 in Syracuse, New York. 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. 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. It is now a division under Eaton Corporation.[1]


In 1897, at age 25, Huntington Beard Crouse from the village of Fayetteville, New York, inherited a large sum of money from his uncle, Huntington Beard, who owned several small companies. Crouse teamed up with the older and wiser, Jesse Lorenzo Hinds, 51, whom he met through a relative. Hinds was factory superintendent (and former mechanic) of the Electric Engineering and Supply Company of Syracuse.[1]

Electrical specialties[edit]

Crouse had the capital and Hinds had the electrical know how as well as business and management experience to start their own company. They drew up papers and formed a partnership called Crouse-Hinds Electric Company, and went on to become one of the major employers in Syracuse. The company was a manufacturer of high grade electrical specialties.[1] Their first product offering was a changeable headlight for trolley cars.[2]

A new plant was constructed in 1911 at the corner of Wolf and 7th North Streets in Syracuse.[1]

Traffic signals[edit]

Tipperary Hill's green-over-red traffic light

By 1918, the company had shortened their name to Crouse-Hinds Company and produced traffic lights, controllers and accessories.[3]

The company manufactured the first traffic signal in Syracuse which was installed in 1924 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.[1]

Operating divisions[edit]

The company's 1980 annual report listed and described the divisions on pages 49-51. Other than Belden (see below) they were:

  • Construction Materials Products - Electrical fittings, panelboards, switches, motor starters, control devices, instruments, enclosures, connectors and industrial lighting fixtures.
  • Distribution Equipment Products - Load centers, circuit breakers, safety switches, meter sockets and group metering equipment.
  • Lighting Products - Indoor/outdoor lighting equipment, aviation ground lighting, obstruction lighting and lighting poles.
  • Traffic Control Products - Vehicle and pedestrian traffic signals and controls and vehicle detectors.
  • Arrow Hart - Electrical wiring devices, specialty switches and industrial control equipment for commercial and industrial use.(Acquired 1975)[4]

Current operations[edit]

On December 10, 1980, the Crouse-Hinds Company acquired Belden, a wire and cable manufacturer founded in Chicago in 1902 by Joseph C. Belden, in a stock merger, exchanging 1.24 shares for each share of Belden Corp.[1]

On April 28, 1981, the newly merged company was acquired by Cooper Industries of Houston, Texas after receiving approval at the Cooper shareholders meeting. Not long after, Cooper sold the traffic products division to Traffic Control Technologies of Liverpool, New York, who then sold the division to Peek Traffic Transyt of Tallahassee, Florida. In 1982, after Cooper bought out the streetlighting 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 patterns for Crouse-Hinds cabinets, mountings and bases from Traffic Control Technologies.[1]

Eaton Corporation bought Cooper Industries in 2012[5] and has maintained the Crouse-Hinds brand[6].


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Welcome". The Crouse-Hinds Traffic Signal and Controller Collector, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  2. ^ Gadoua, Renee K. "City looks forward and back". Syracuse Newspapers, 2001. Retrieved August 21, 2001.
  3. ^ "Add Our Names to the Roll of Honor". The Post-Standard. Syracuse, New York. June 24, 1918.
  4. ^ David N. Keller, Cooper Industries 1833-1983 page 307
  5. ^ "Cooper Industries Acquisition".
  6. ^ "Crouse-Hinds - Leading provider of electrical and instrumentation products for harsh, hazardous and explosionproof environments".

External links[edit]