Bearing Application Timeline

  • The use of has a long and storied history, having been used to build some of history's most important structures. Read below for a brief history of the bearin

 The use of has a long and storied history, having been used to build some of history's most important structures. Read below for a brief history of the bearing industry.

2600 BC – The Ancient Egyptians use a form of roller bearings to help move massive bricks during construction of the Pyramids.

40 BC - Early example of a wooden ball bearing supporting a rotating table was retrieved from the remains of a Roman ship in Lake Nemi, Italy.

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Leonardo

da Vinci  

1500 AD – Leonardo da Vinci described a type of ball bearing.

1600 – Galileo describes caged ball bearing to prevent friction.

1794 – First patent for ball race by Philip Vaughn of Carmarthen, Wales.

1866 – The Torrington Company (under the name Excelsior Needle Company) signs Articles of Association to manufacture sewing machines needles and the machinery to produce the same.

1880 – Rockwell Automation (under the name DODGE Manufacturing Company) incorporates, two years after Wallace H. Dodge began the manufacture of wood hardware specialties.

 

1883 – FAG begins grinding balls of equal size and roundness forming the creation of an independent bearing industry.

1898 – First patent issued for Timken Tapered roller bearings.

1907 – Sven Wingquist of SKF invents the modern self-aligning ball bearing.

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Tapered bearing

 

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Swedish postage stamp 
featuring Sven ingquist

1907 – Sven Wingquist of SKF invents the modern self-aligning ball bearing.

1912 – FAG originates single-row, barrel type, and spherical roller bearings.

1913 – Hoover Steel Ball Company is founded by Leander J. Hoover in Ann Arbor, MI.

1916 – NSK inaugurated its business in 1916 and produced the first ball bearings made in Japan.  

1917 – U.S. Bearing Manufacturers create an informal group to aid bearing manufacturing for World War I, which led to the founding of ABMA.

1927 – NTN Mfg. Co., Ltd. established with capital of 50,000 yen.

1928 – Fujikoshi Steel Industry Co, Ltd., (Nachi) was founded in Toyama City, Japan, to manufacture cutting and machine tools.

1933 – Articles of Incorporation ratified by United States bearing manufacturers to create AFBMA (Anti-Friction Bearing Manufacturers Association).

1934 – AFBMA is incorporated as an organization in the State of New York.

1960 – Elasto-hydro-dynamic theory explains the mechanism of why bearings and gears work led to advances in grindings precision and ultrasonic equipment.

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Apollo 11

1969 –Three astronauts in a North American Rockwell "Apollo" spacecraft are launched by North American Rockwell rocket engines toward the moon.

1970 – Intel invents the microprocessor and consistent precision control of machine tools impacting both size and life of bearings.

1980s – Torrington bearings are used in the space shuttle and robot arm to launch and retrieve satellites in orbit.

1992 – ABMA celebrates its 75th anniversary.

1993 – ABMA officially changes its name from the AFBMA (Anti-Friction Bearing Manufacturers Association).

 

1993 – Leading bearing manufacturers from throughout the world meet for the first time in Key Largo, Florida.

2001 – The Schaeffler Group (INA) acquires FAG.

2002 – Timken Company acquires Torrington Company impacting the global bearing market with a variety of bearing products including tapered roller bearings, needle roller bearings and alloy steels.

2006 – ABMA partners with the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) for Joint Meeting in Tucson, AZ.

2006 – ABMA, the Japanese Bearing Industrial Association (JBIA) and the Federation of European Bearing Manufacturers Association (FEBMA) create the World Bearing Association (WBA) to focus on issues affecting the global bearing industry.

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Shuttle Atlantis
carrying Galileo Spacecraft
in 1989.