History 

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.  

 

The Beginning

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.

 

Historical Highlights 


Read All About It

You know the basics about Timken. Now, find out how we evolved from a modest, family-owned business into a global, Fortune 500 company.  Written for our centennial in 1999, From Missouri to Mars - A Century of Leadership in Manufacturing traces our history and the impact we've had on industry. Purchase this book at www.amazon.com.

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