In the 1890s, as a horse-drawn carriage manufacturer in St. Louis, Missouri, Henry Timken discovered that heavy-duty carriages often had difficulty making sharp turns. In order to solve this problem, he adopted a tapered roller bearing design that can withstand radial weight and axial (lateral reaction) load. This application brings many benefits to customers. Henry Timken soon discovered that tapered roller bearings can also improve equipment performance in many other applications. Henry Timken and his two sons H.H. Timken and William Timken founded the Timken Roller Bearing and Axle Company in 1899.
Henry Timken's tapered roller bearing patent is the foundation of Timken's development. Since 1899, Timken has greatly expanded its product portfolio through innovation and acquisitions. These related products include gear drives, chains, belts, couplings, automatic lubrication systems, industrial clutches and brakes, and various related services, involving famous industrial brands such as Timken, Philadelphia Gear, Groeneveld, Drives, and Lovejoy. By the 1920s, Timken had provided bearings for 80% of American cars.
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