In the early 1890s, Otis A. Mygatt became interested in what was then referred to as the "holophane product"--a glass globe with horizontal, parallel prisms positioned to control light. After acquiring the rights to the globes and reflectors in 1895, Mygatt founded the Holophane Co. in London. Three years later, he formed the Holophane Glass Co., Inc., in New York, N.Y. In the company's infancy, the globes were used with carbon, acetylene and oil lamps and with gas burners to make the gas flame or mantle more effective.

Throughout its history, Holophane has been credited with a number of firsts, including development in 1906 of the first photometer to measure light intensity and distribution. The company was the first to begin the practice of publishing photometric curves to show the performance end-users could expect from an individual lighting fixture. It also founded the Illuminating Engineers Society in 1906.

Now headquartered in Newark, Ohio, Holophane today produces fixtures ranging from conventional high-intensity discharge and decorative units to specialty fluorescent fixtures and the high-mast systems found along major highways, parking lots, railyards and seaports.