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The Bearing Story - History and the First Industrial Revolution

The bearings history goes back centuries.A bearing is a component used in a machine to facilitate motion and reduce friction in moving parts. It is designed to provide free linear motion or rotation about a fixed axis.

Classification, ossification depends on the type of surgery, the movement required and the force applied.

The simplest classification is a plain bearing consisting of a shaft rotating in a bore. The most widely known bearing is the ball bearing, which uses jumps in the timing ring to allow smooth movement at a prescribed speed.

History of Bearings
Bearings History

Bearings History

The invention of rolling bearings dates back centuries. The first form is a wooden roller that supports the motion of an object, better known as a wheel.

  • 40BC : Wooden ball bearings that support the turntable. This was recovered from the tSurreyks of the Roman Nemi boat on Lake Nemi, Italy.
  • 1500: Leonardo da Vinci’s helicopter designs and blueprints incorporate ball bearings. This is the first documented use of the aerospace design method.
  • 17th century: Galileo first describes the captured or caged ball bearing.
  • Mid 1740: John Harrison invents the first caged roller bearing for the H3 marine chronograph. He also used the same method in contemporary regulatory clocks, despite its limited oscillating motion.
History of Bearings
History of Bearings

Bearings History - Since the Industrial Revolution

Bearings have become an integral part of
Bearings have been an integral part of the first industrial revolution, keeping machines running efficiently.

The first plain and rolling bearings were made of wood.

Throughout its history, it has been made of various materials viz. Ceramics, sapphire, glass, steel, etc., as well as plastics widely used today.

Ordinary sapphire bearings are mainly used by watchmakers who produce jewelry watches. It reduces friction, which is more precise in terms of timekeeping.

Wooden bearings, although uncommon, are still used in old clocks and water mills.Bearings History

  • 1974: The first modern recorded patent for a ball bearing is awarded to British inventor and steel guru Philip Vaughan. His modern design consists of a ball that runs along a groove in the shaft assembly
  • 1869: The first patent for a radial ball bearing is awarded to Jules Surrey, a Parisian bicycle mechanic. These bearings were installed in the winning bicycle used by James Morre in the world’s first bicycle race in Rouen, Paris.
  • 1883 – Sees FAG founder Friedrich Fischer establish an independent bearing industry.
  • 1898: Witnesses Henry Timken’s vision as an innovator in carriage manufacturing, patenting the tapered roller bearing. The following year, Timken formed a company to produce his innovative product. Over the next century, the company continued to grow, manufacturing a wide variety of bearings. Specialty steels and a range of related products and services.
  • 1907 – The modern self-aligning ball bearing is patented to Sven Wingquist of SKF, Design Patent No. 25406.
  • 1934: Steel wire raceway bearings are invented. Patent granted to Erich Franke. After World War II, he founded Franke & Heydirch KG; a joint venture with Gerhard Heydrich, today known as Franke GmbH, which produced wire raceway bearings.
  • 1968: Designs and manufactures the V-groove bearing pulley, a type of linear motion bearing, patented in 1972 to Bud Wisecarver, co-founder of Bishop-Wisecarver.
  • Early 80s: The first two-material plain bearing is invented by Pacific Bearing founder Robert Schroeder. This bearing has a metal shell, ie. Aluminum, steel, stainless steel and Teflon based materials are joined by a thin adhesive layer and are dimensionally interchangeable with linear ball bearings.

Application of bearing

Today, ball and roller bearings are used in a variety of industrial applications, including rotating parts. For example, ultra-high speed bearings for dental drills, gearbox and wheel bearings in the automotive industry, flex bearings in optical alignment mechanisms, bicycle hubs, etc.

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