History of The Timken Company
For more than 100 years, Timken has focused on value creation for diverse industries and market segments. We've grown considerably since our founding in 1899, but solving customer problems is still at the core of our business, just like it was when founder Henry Timken patented a tapered roller bearing design that made life easier for freight wagon operators and their mules.
Henry Timken, a St. Louis carriage maker, recognized that heavy freight wagons had a hard time making sharp turns. To solve the problem, he applied a tapered roller bearing design that could handle both radial (weight) and thrust (cornering force) loads. There were several customer benefits. First, the application ran more smoothly, reducing repair and replacement costs. In some cases, the bearings improved wagon performance so much that fewer mules were required to pull them. Finally, better cornering meant less chance of losing a load of goods. Always focused on customer benefit, Henry quickly realized that the tapered roller bearing could improve product performance in many other applications as well. He and his sons, H.H. and William Timken, quickly founded The Timken Roller Bearing and Axle Company and began building the business into what it is today.