The Timken Company is a global manufacturer of bearings, and related components and assemblies. Timken operates in 28 countries.
In 1898, Henry Timken obtained a patent for the tapered roller bearing, and in 1899 incorporated as The Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company in St. Louis.
In 1901, the company moved to Canton, Ohio, as the automobile industry began to overtake the carriage industry. Timken and his two sons chose this location because of its proximity to the American car manufacturing centers of Detroit and Cleveland and the American steel-making centers of Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
In 1917, the company began its steel- and tube-making operations in Canton to vertically integrate and maintain better control over the steel used in its bearings. World War I had created an increase in demand for steel, affecting its supply and price in the market.
Some UK steam locomotives also used roller bearings. The LMS Turbomotive was fitted with Timken roller bearings, and they also were retrofitted to some of the LMS Coronation class.
In 2014 the company changed its corporate structure, the roller bearing producing part of the company was separated from the steel producing part of the company, resulting in two separate companies. The Timken Company continues to manufacture roller bearings, while TimkenSteel produces steel.
The Timken Company brands includes Timken, Fafnir, Philadelphia Gear, Interlube and Drives.
Timken is a member of World Bearing Association (WBA), a non-profit and unincorporated industrial association.
British Timken was established in Chester Road, Aston, Birmingham in 1937, to manufacture tapered roller, parallel roller and ball bearings.
In World War II a shadow factory was built in 1941 on a green-field site at Duston in Northamptonshire, to produce roller bearings. At its peak over 4,000 people were employed in the factory. In 2002 the Duston works were closed and the site cleared for housing with production moving to Poland.
In 2003 the company acquired its largest domestic competitor in the bearing business—The Torrington Company of Torrington, Connecticut. In 2007 it acquired the Purdy Corporation of Manchester, Connecticut. Renamed Timken Aerospace Transmissions, it is part of the Timken Aerospace & Defense division headquartered in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Timken operates eight locations in the US and Canada.
The company also manufactured test equipment for various purposes, including properties of lubricating oil. This resulted in the company lending its name to the industry standard Timken OK Load metric.
Timken has been present in India since 1987 and has production facilities in Chennai and Jamshedpur. Additionally, Timken also has an IT support center in Bangalore.