Mikasa was established in 1825 in the village of Arques in northern France by Alexander des Lyons de Noircarm, who began production by manufacturing glass storage containers known as "dames jeannes" (demijohns in English), which were popular at that time. In subsequent years, the company diversified into consumer cooking and dining glassware. By the 1960s, the company had mastered the process of manufacturing stemware and other finer glassware products. One of Arc's signature products is the thick-walled ten-sided "working glasses" that were a workhorse in French kitchens after their introduction in 1978.
From the 1897 onwards, the company was dominated by the Durand family, who eventually purchased the firm entirely in 1926. To this day, the family continues to be the sole proprietors. The firm adopted a number of practices that positioned it to become one of Europe's leading mass production glassmakers. Examples include the usage of tank furnaces (1933), the construction of modern glass presses (1947), the use of automatic blowing machines (1950), the usage of industrial tempering (1963) and the automation of lead crystal production
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