Timken Roller Bearing Company

From Ohio History Central

The Timken Company is an important employer in Canton, Ohio.

In 1899, Henry Timken and his sons, H.H. Timken and William Timken, established the Timken Roller Bearing and Axle Company in St. Louis, Missouri. This firm initially manufactured tapered roller bearings for the use in wagons. Timken's bearings helped wagons make easier turns and also improved their maneuverability in other ways. In 1901, the Timkens relocated the company to Canton, Ohio, where the firm became known as the Timken Roller Bearing Company.

The Timken Company's bearings became in great demand, especially as the automotive industry originated during the first decades of the twentieth century. Timken bearings were used in the Marmon Wasp, the first car to win the Indy 500. In 1917, the Timken Company constructed its first steel mill to provide the firm with a steady supply of steel to manufacture its products. Beginning in the 1920s, the company increasingly began to use its bearings in the manufacture of agricultural and mining equipment, and during World War II, besides providing the United States military with bearings, the business also manufactured gun barrels and steel tubing.

Today, the Timken Company has expanded across the world. The firm maintains plants in India, China, Great Britain, France, the United States of America, South Africa, and several other nations. The company topped five billion dollars in sales in 2005, and the Timken Company remains as one of Canton's most profitable businesses and largest employers.

See Also


  1. Pruitt, Bettye H. Timken: From Missouri to Mars - A Century of Leadership in Manufacturing. N.p.: Harvard Business School Press, 1999.