8 Interesting Facts on History of Ball Bearings

Ball Bearing is a simple tool, but it has immense industrial usage. From cycle to ceiling fan, everything that’s has a circular movement has a ball bearing. But, have you ever wondered how ball bearings were invented? It has a really fascinating history. Let’s explore:

1.The concept of ball bearing surfaced even before the creation of the wheel. During that time, the pre-historic people realised that by placing rolling logs underneath heavy objects, they can drag them easily across the flat surface.

Source: http://blog.iqsdirectory.com/motion-control/ball-bearings-2/


  1. 2. The evidence of such a mechanism was also found in cave drawings. Later, the evidence of the concept of a ball bearing was also discovered in the drawings on the Egyptian pyramid. These drawings showed the use of wooden rollers for moving heavy stones during construction.

Source: http://blog.iqsdirectory.com/motion-control/ball-bearings-2/


  1. The evidence of ball bearings was also found on the Roman Nemi ship. These ships were constructed during 40 C.E. Next, the recording of ball bearings was also found in the drawings by the great thinker, Leonardo da Vinci. It was around 1500 when the record of the idea of ball bearings was found in his personal drawings and design for a helicopter.

Source: http://blog.iqsdirectory.com/motion-control/ball-bearings-2/


  1. At the very beginning, bearings were manufactured of Lignum Vitae which is very hard and heavy. This oily wood was native to Central America and the West Indies. The natural oils secreted by the wood helped during the manufacturing process and acted as a cutting fluid. These bearings made of the wood were best for “wet” applications and were used in water wheels, propeller-driven vessels, and pumps. The wood bearing is known to be long lasting, strong, and easy to replace.


  1. With the popularity of improved metal forming processes during the industrial age, people realised that bearings made of steel performed better than wooden or bronze bearings. It was in 1794 when Philip Vaughan received the patent for a ball bearing. It was his design that became the blueprint for the modern ball bearing that we use today.

Source: http://resources.hartfordtechnologies.com/blog/the-history-of-ball-bearings


  1. Jule Suriray got the patent for a radial ball bearing in 1869. These bearing were fitted in bicycles. The success of his design resulted in the creation of several new types of metallic ball bearings. All of these designs were created for a particular machine.


  1. During the 20th century, with the advancement in automotive, military industries and machine tools, ball bearings too improved. Now, the choice of rolling elements goes beyond simple balls to spherical and tapered rollers. Modern ball bearings now can support greater force and loads.

Source: http://resources.hartfordtechnologies.com/blog/the-history-of-ball-bearings

  1. In 1907, Sven Wingquist of the SKF ball-bearing manufacturer designed a self-aligning ball bearing which paved way for the ball bearings we use today.

Source: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ball_bearing

If you are interested getting in touch with a bearing distributors, kindly contact us. We are always willing to provide the best possible service to our customers.