Timken Company
The Timken Company is a global manufacturer of bearings
Bearing (mechanical)
A bearing is a device to allow constrained relative motion between two or more parts, typically rotation or linear movement. Bearings may be classified broadly according to the motions they allow and according to their principle of operation as well as by the directions of applied loads they can...

, alloy steels, and related components and assemblies.


The company was founded by Henry Timken
Henry Timken
Henry Timken was an inventor who was born in Bremen, Germany. He founded the Timken Company in 1899, which is located in Canton, Ohio. Timken was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame on September 19, 1998...

 in St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

, Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 in 1899 and incorporated as The Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company. A year earlier, in 1898, Timken got a patent for the tapered roller bearing
Tapered roller bearing
Tapered roller bearings are bearings that can take large axial forces as well as being able to sustain large radial forces.-Description:...

 for which the company would become known. At the time, Timken was a carriage-maker in St. Louis and held three patents for carriage springs. However, it was his patent for tapered roller bearings that allowed his company to become successful.

Tapered roller bearings were a breakthrough at the end of the 19th century because bearings used in wheel axles had not changed much since ancient times. They relied on bearings enclosed in a case that held lubricants. These were called "friction bearings" and depended on lubricant
A lubricant is a substance introduced to reduce friction between moving surfaces. It may also have the function of transporting foreign particles and of distributing heat...

s to function. Without proper lubrication, these bearings would fail due to excessive heat caused by friction. Timken was able to significantly reduce the friction on his bearings by using a "cup" and "cone" design incorporating tapered bearings which actually rolled, which reduced the load placed on the bearings by distributing the weight and load evenly across the cups, cones, and bearings.

The company moved to Canton, Ohio
Canton, Ohio
Canton is the county seat of Stark County in northeastern Ohio, approximately south of Akron and south of Cleveland.The City of Caton is the largest incorporated area within the Canton-Massillon Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 in 1901 as the automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 industry began to overtake the carriage industry. Timken chose this location because of its proximity to the American car manufacturing centers of Detroit, Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 and Cleveland
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

, Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, and because it was close to the American steel-making centers of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...

, Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 and Cleveland.

Ray Harroun
Ray Harroun
Ray Harroun was an American racecar driver, born in Spartansburg, Pennsylvania.-Early driving:As noted in the Columbia Car webpages, Harroun participated in the original setting of the record from Chicago to New York in 1903, and the re-taking of that record in 1904...

, winner of the first Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500
The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, also known as the Indianapolis 500, the 500 Miles at Indianapolis, the Indy 500 or The 500, is an American automobile race, held annually, typically on the last weekend in May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana...

, rode into victory lanes with Timken Bearings for his axles.

In 1916, the company began its steel and pipe making operations in Canton to vertically integrate
Vertical integration
In microeconomics and management, the term vertical integration describes a style of management control. Vertically integrated companies in a supply chain are united through a common owner. Usually each member of the supply chain produces a different product or service, and the products combine to...

 and have total control over the steel used in its bearings. World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 created an increase in demand for steel, affecting its supply and price in the market. Poor quality steel from suppliers was another important issue, so the company felt the need to make its own steel to ensure the quality of its bearing products. By the late 1990s, the steel-making operations were selling 80% of its output to outside customers, and the operations accounted for one-third of the company's total sales.

Present day operations

In 2003, the company acquired its largest domestic competitor in the bearing business—The Torrington Company
Torrington Company
The Torrington Company was a firm that developed in Torrington, Connecticut, emerging as a rename from the Excelsior Needle Company. It used a "cold swaging" technique to create sewing machine needles and other needles from cold metal, and was the largest employer in Torrington.James Alldis was...

 of Torrington, Connecticut
Torrington, Connecticut
Torrington is the largest city in Litchfield County, Connecticut and the northwestern Connecticut region. It is also the core city of the largest micropolitan area in the United States. The city population was 36,383 according to the 2010 census....

 through negotiations by Glenn Eisenberg, currently the CFO of Timken.

Timken's most recent acquisition in 2007 was the Purdy Corporation of Manchester, Connecticut
Manchester, Connecticut
Manchester is a township and city in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 58,241.- History :...

. Renamed Timken Aerospace Transmissions, it is part of the Timken Aerospace & Defense division headquartered in Lebanon, New Hampshire
Lebanon, New Hampshire
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,568 people, 5,500 households, and 3,178 families residing in the city. The population density was 311.4 people per square mile . There were 5,707 housing units at an average density of 141.4 per square mile...


The company also manufactured test equipment for various purposes including properties of lubricating oil; this led to the company lending its name to the industry standard Timken OK Load
Timken OK Load
Timken OK Load is a qualitative measure that indicates the possible performance of extreme pressure additives in a lubricating grease or oil. The units of measure are pounds-force or kilograms-force and are determined using a special test machine.The test machine is based on a machine...


The Timken Company's major international competitors in the bearings market are SKF
SKF, Svenska Kullagerfabriken AB , later AB SKF, is a Swedish bearing company founded in 1907, supplying bearings, seals, lubrication and lubrication systems, maintenance products, mechatronics products, power transmission products and related services globally.-History:The company was founded on...

 of Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, NSK of Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, and the Schaeffler Group
Schaeffler Group
The Schaeffler Technologies GmbH & Co. KG is a privately owned major manufacturer of rolling element bearings for automotive, aerospace and industrial uses. In August 2008 the firm agreed to a staggered €12 billion acquisition of larger rival Continental AG, whereby Schaeffler will defer taking a...

 of Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...


Timken is a member of World Bearing Association (WBA).

External links

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