Fighting Friction: Henry Timken and the Tapered Roller Bearing (1831-1909)

Henry Timken developed the tapered roller bearing and went on to found a company to manufacture roller bearings that grew into a large, multinational corporation. The Timken Company, formerly Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company, remains, to this day, one of the most successful global family businesses in the United States.

Updated: June 19, 2012

Introduction

Friction—the rubbing of one component or surface against another—transforms kinetic energy into heat, but also causes wear to surfaces, damages components, and wastes energy, which is why it is a basic problem inherent to all mechanical motion. German native Henry Timken (born August 16, 1831 in Tarmstedt, Kingdom of Hannover; died: March 16, 1909 in San Diego, California) recognized this problem and observed that the man “who could devise something which would reduce friction fundamentally would achieve something of real value to the world.”[1] Timken, who immigrated with his family to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1839, later fulfilled his quest to reduce mechanical friction by developing the tapered roller bearing, an invention that secured him an international reputation in the field of anti-friction bearing design. Timken went on to found a company to manufacture roller bearings that grew into a large, multinational corporation. The Timken Company, formerly Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company, remains, to this day, one of the most successful global family businesses in the United States.

Family and Ethnic Background

Henry Timken’s family immigrated to the United States from the small rural village of Tarmstedt, near Bremen, in the north German Kingdom of Hannover. Tarmstedt is currently situated in the federal state of Lower Saxony, but it belonged to the Kingdom of Hannover from 1814 to 1866. Henry’s father Jakob Timken (born March 6, 1781 in Tarmstedt) worked as a farmer and owned 60 to 100 acres of land near the village, a medium-sized farm in that area at the time.[2] On March 21, 1811, he married his first wife Trine Mahncken (born December 11, 1791) in St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in nearby Wilstedt. Jakob and Trine had nine children, two of whom died in early childhood.[3] On February 7, 1837, Trine fell ill with the flu (“Grippe”), which eventually led to her death at the age of forty-six. After her passing, Jakob Timken was left alone with the couple’s seven children who ranged in age from two to twenty-five years old.

In 1838, for reasons unknown, the Timken family sold its land to Carl Ocker, a local farmer, and left Tarmsted. They traveled approximately 31 miles (50 kilometers) to the port of Bremerhaven and boarded a ship to New Orleans. The family arrived in the United States on November 12, 1838, and continued their journey up the Mississippi River by steamboat to their final destination of St. Louis. Jakob and his seven children arrived there in March 1839. Henry was seven years old when he first set foot on American soil.

Typical of many emigrants from northern Germany, the Timken family was protestant and deeply religious. Shortly after their arrival Jakob, his daughter Adelheid, and his three youngest sons joined the Stephanites, a sect of evangelical Lutheran immigrants from Germany. Upon admission, Jacob gave $560 (approximately $13,500 in 2010)[4] to the group and granted near absolute authority over himself and his wealth to its leader, a Reverend Martin Stephan from Dresden in Saxony. When Stephan and some other leaders of the group misused the money, Jakob Timken emancipated himself and his family from them three months later. However, Jakob allegedly lost a considerable amount of money during this brief involvement with the Stephanites.[5]

In the meantime, Henry’s brother Johann had purchased eighty acres of land approximately 180 miles (290 kilometers) west of St. Louis near Sedalia, Missouri. This area was chosen by many German immigrants from the Tarmstedt region. In July 1839, Jakob and his children—eight-year-old Henry among them—joined Johann. Jakob purchased 680 acres of land in close proximity to his son’s estate for $1,150 (approximately $27,800 in 2010). This represented a considerable investment for the middle-class family who cultivated both farms jointly.

Henry Timken received his primary education in a country school near Sedalia. In 1847, at the age of 16, he left the family’s farm and moved to St. Louis. At the time, St. Louis was a growing town, about four times as large as Chicago, and an important gateway for migrants and goods being carried to the West. It was therefore neither surprising nor exceptional that Henry left the rural community of his childhood for the “big city.” Eventually all of his brothers settled in St. Louis and only his sister and her husband stayed on the family farm. In 1846, even his father (now in his mid-sixties) followed them; though he eventually returned to Sedalia to live with his daughter and son-in-law until his death in 1866. Henry’s father is buried in the Lake Creek Cemeter in Sedalia, where his tombstone reminds visitors of his German origin: “In memory of our grandfather, Jakob Timken…a native of Tarmstedt, Hannover, Germany.”[6]

After settling in St. Louis, young Henry entered the carriage building business as an apprentice to Caspar Schurmeier, a German master carriage maker. Schurmeier (born circa 1820) had emigrated from Germany to St. Louis in 1840 and was described by contemporaries as “a typical type of the German nation—solid, cool, persistent, industrious, self reliant, calculating, with a remarkable faculty for making money.”[7] During his three-year apprenticeship, Henry Timken learned the trade from Schurmeier and became a journeyman carriage maker. Afterwards, he started working for one of the leading carriage building firms of the time, D. T. Card & Co.[8]

On September 28, 1854, Henry married the daughter of a fellow German carriage maker, Fredericka Heinzelman. They started a family and had five children: two sons (William R. and Henry H.) and three daughters (Amelia Cecilia, Cora, and Georgiana). In the years to come, Henry became a successful carriage manufacturer and entrepreneur and was granted several patents, most importantly the patent for tapered roller bearings. At the very end of his career in 1899, Henry Timken founded the firm that was to become his legacy: the Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company. In 1909, Henry’s wife Fredericka died in San Diego, California. While on a trip to Los Angeles only four months later, Henry suffered a brief illness due to stomach and liver trouble, and died at the age of 78.

Business Development

The history of immigrant entrepreneur and inventor Henry Timken is unique in that he founded his most successful company—still in operation today—at the end of his career, not at the beginning. Founded in 1899 in St. Louis, his new business was the culmination of a long and successful career as a carriage manufacturer. His standing within the trade is represented by the fact that he was elected president of the Carriage Builders’ National Association in 1895, four years before he founded the Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company.[9]

Henry Timken was never involved in management of the Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company and retired shortly after the firm’s founding, but he should still be considered a successful immigrant entrepreneur in the field of bearing manufacturing for a number of reasons. First, as an inventor Henry Timken contributed the main idea and competitive product for the Timken Company, the Timken® Tapered Roller Bearings, first patented in 1898. Second, as an investor Timken supported the business with substantial financial contributions in the start-up phase and during its early years. Third, and most importantly, as the company’s namesake, Timken’s family and employees recognized his critical role as the founder of the business. His identity and values had a long-lasting influence on the company’s development. Timken gave the business a sense of purpose that remained in place for several generations.

Henry Timken’s career started with the founding of his first carriage building company in St. Louis, one year after his marriage to Fredericka Heinzelman in 1854. His father-in-law, German native John A. Heinzelman, helped him with this start-up and invested with Henry in the family business.[10] The credit reporting agency R. G. Dunn & Co. characterized Henry at the time as an “honest clever owner” and a good mechanic. Yet, three years later, his business mainly consisted of carriage repairs and his “means [were] limited.”[11] In 1858, perhaps due to his lack of success in St. Louis, Henry sold his business to George D. English & Co. and moved to Belleville, Illinois, a city conveniently situated on the major thoroughfare from St. Louis to Louisville, Kentucky. Together with his father-in-law, Henry opened a new carriage building shop with the name “Timken & Heinzelman.” Only two years later, however, Henry sold his shares in the carriage business in order to raise money for a trip to Colorado, where he hoped to find gold. Together with his brother-in-law John Ringen, he left for Pike’s Peak, but like many young men at the time, Henry and his companion returned to St. Louis empty-handed after only six months.

The Civil War (1861-1865) temporarily slowed Henry’s entrepreneurial activities. He served in the pro-Union St. Louis Home Guards, which was composed primarily of Germans, and in the Thirteenth Regiment of the Missouri Militia, in which he served as a captain for three years.[12]

As the war wound down, Henry reentered the carriage business. The Civil War had increased demand for carriages and the postwar period was characterized by increasing mechanization and a shift from craft to factory production. Many woodworking operations central to carriage making could now be done by specialized machine tools. New mechanized factories in New York and New England began producing large quantities of interchangeable carriage parts. As the production of carriages increased, the price dropped considerably. The market grew from 6,000 producers and a total value of $18 million in 1850 (approximately $518 million in 2010) to 15,500 producers and $102 million in 1880 (approximately $2,940 million in 2010).[13]

When a fire destroyed Henry’s carriage shop in St. Louis in 1864, he turned misery into opportunity and rebuilt his business according to the most up-to-date standards of factory organization. In 1877, he built another large factory on St. Charles Street, which became a model of efficiency and organization. The building was 64 x 106 feet in dimension with tall ceilings that let in much natural light. It was composed of four floors that (from bottom to top) hosted a showroom and blacksmith shop including a power blast to drive four fires, a drop forge, power drills, hammers, lathes, grinders, and a drill press (first floor); a carriage assembly area with power saws, planers, and dressing machines (second floor), trimming rooms with sewing machines, and a paint shop with modern water pipes and a machine that ground colors into powder (third floor), and a body-varnishing room with sliding partitions (fourth floor). A steam-powered hoist conveyed materials and vehicles between floors.[14]

In addition to his entrepreneurial activities, Henry Timken was a gifted inventor and promoter of new inventions. After several attempts spanning nearly ten years, he developed and patented the Timken Cross Spring. Since the mid-eighteenth century, steel springs had been imported from England. However, the English springs did not fit American vehicles, which were lighter and had to cover longer distances over rough roads. In 1873, James B. Brewster patented the first cross-spring gear, which was widely copied by competitors. Henry Timken’s improved cross spring contained a superior design and was patented in 1877. From the beginning, Henry Timken invested heavily in advertising the new Timken Cross Spring. He placed ads in specialty trade magazines such as The Hub and Carriage Monthly. In 1883, he began running regular ads in Harper’s Weekly, a popular general-interest magazine. His massive early marketing efforts made his improved cross spring hugely popular with both carriage makers and the general public.

In addition to advertising the Timken Cross Spring, Timken focused on defending his patent rights against competitors, which was both necessary and commonplace due to the lack of regulation in the industry. Several law suits focused on his improved cross spring. Ultimately, Timken’s cross-spring patent would be judged by the U.S. Supreme Court to be lacking in innovation because it embodied only minor mechanical changes from its predecessors. However, by that time, Timken had already significantly enhanced both the reputation of his products and the degree of brand awareness by the general public.

In 1887, at the age of 56, Henry Timken took the first step away from the carriage business and moved to San Diego, where he built a Victorian style house at 2508 First Street and began investing in real estate. He and his wife used their free time to travel within the U.S. and to Europe. However, Henry never fully retired and kept a close eye on the development of his business, which was managed by Appleton S. Bridges, the husband of his daughter Amelia. Three new patents on carriage springs were granted to Henry at the beginning of the 1890s, and in 1892 Henry decided to return to the business. After his New Timken® Side Spring won an award at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, he placed the product on the market and advertised it extensively.

In January 1895, Timken incorporated his business as the Timken Carriage Company with $50,000 of paid-in capital (approximately $1.3 million in 2010). This business decision appears to have been part of the ageing entrepreneur’s succession strategy. His two sons were at the point of launching their own careers. The older son William Robert (called W. R.) was involved for some time as an investor in the Mutual Wheel Company and afterwards founded the St. Louis Carriage Manufacturing Company with his partner, Charles Heflinger. While Heflinger acted as president of the company, W. R. Timken served as secretary and treasurer. The younger son Henry Heinzelman (called H. H.) Timken attended college at Washington University in St. Louis, then moved with his family to San Diego and completed his education at the University of California, Berkeley. He received a law degree in 1890, and then moved back to St. Louis where he was admitted to the Missouri bar and took up the practice of law.

The 500 shares of the newly founded Timken Carriage Company stock were spread among Henry (250 shares), H. H. (249 shares), and a nephew Cord Ringen (1 share). An immediate merger of Timken Carriage with W. R. Timken’s company, the St. Louis Carriage Manufacturing Company, brought both sons into business with their father. At the end of 1895, the Timken family bought out W. R.’s external partner, Charles Heflinger, concentrating the ownership of the business exclusively within the family.

Due to the increased production of carriages in the postwar years, the demand for anti-friction bearings increased steadily. Beginning in the 1860s, the bicycle industry also began to create considerable demand for increasingly sophisticated roller bearings. Henry–with the support of his nephew Reginald Heinzelman–experimented with roller bearings during the 1890s. His experience in carriage building helped him develop improved roller bearing designs. In an episode deeply ingrained in the Timken Company corporate culture and history, Timken and his nephew allegedly equipped a carriage with a set of handmade bearings and sent it out on the streets of St. Louis with a load so large that the driver was arrested for cruelty to the small mule pulling it. When W. R. Timken showed off the superior bearings in court and proved that the carriage was not too heavy for the animal, the case was dismissed.

On December 15, 1899, the Timken family and Heinzelman incorporated the Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company with $100,000 of paid-in capital (approximately $2.7 million in 2010). As the new business developed, Henry Timken retired for the second time at the end of 1899 and moved back to California. He remained president of the young company but left its management entirely in the hands of his two sons. In California, Henry formed the Timken Investment Company to pursue his interest in real estate and played a role in the development of the city of San Diego.[15]

After his retirement, Henry Timken gave an equal number of shares of Timken Company stock to his three daughters. He had received these shares in exchange for the money he had lent his sons to start the business. This turned out to be a very lucrative legacy. For twenty years, the Timken Company stock paid dividends of 100 percent on the original capital.

After Henry’s death, his children continued to invest in the company. They began expanding the range of applications beyond their core roller bearing product. In 1901, the company moved from St. Louis to Canton, Ohio. Canton had important geographic advantages because of its proximity to the steel producing and automotive manufacturing cities of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. The growing automobile industry used more anti-friction bearings than any other industry at the time. In 1922, over 90 percent of all automotive vehicles made in the United States and Canada used from four to 22 Timken® roller bearings per vehicle.[16] Other important customers included manufacturers of machinery, building equipment, bicycles, and scientific instruments.

In 1909, the Timken family separated the axle and the roller bearing departments. Henry H. remained in Canton to direct the Roller Bearing Company and William R. moved to Detroit and founded the Timken-Detroit Axle Company. The Timken-Detroit Axle Company purchased its bearings from the Timken Roller Bearing Company. There were no inter-corporate holdings of stock.

In 1916, the Timken Company diversified backwards into steel production in response to the growing demand for high-grade steel during World War I. It opened its first steel plant in Canton, Ohio. Steel production required very different technological processes than manufacturing products using steel and was very costly, which is why few companies combined steel production and manufacturing operations. For Timken, the main incentive to vertically integrate was quality control. In bearing manufacturing, the quality of the steel is critical for the performance of the bearing. By producing its own steel, the Timken Company was able to control product quality more effectively.[17] For years to come, Timken depicted itself as a high quality producer devoted to the best craftsmanship in its products.[18]

Timken also diversified into other related fields during this era. For repairs and replacements of bearings, the Bearings Service Company was formed in 1916 with its main office in Detroit. It was owned jointly by the Timken Roller Bearing Company and by the Hyatt Roller Bearing Company of Newark, New Jersey. The latter company was subsequently absorbed into General Motors Corporation. By 1918 the Bearings Service Company had established branch stores in 33 cities of the United States and Canada and had appointed about 1,000 authorized distributors. In 1922, Timken purchased the stock of the service company and renamed it the Timken Roller Bearing Service & Sales Company, located in Ohio.

In 1922, Timken Company stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and began to trade publicly.[19] At the end of the year 1922 the total number of stockholders amounted to 3,295.[20] During the same time period, the company began expanding internationally through subsidiaries in Canada and France. During World War II, Timken was an important producer of bearings and steel tubing, as well as large gun barrels.[21] After World War II the company reinforced its internationalization efforts by opening plants abroad and investing in international joint ventures. Today Timken operates 47 manufacturing facilities, 8 technology and engineering centers, and 12 distribution centers in 26 countries and territories.[22]

The Timken® tapered roller bearing, the company's first product, is still its primary product. The company celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1999. In 2009, Forbes magazine named it among the “100 Most Trustworthy Companies” for responsible and conservative management as well as good corporate governance and accountancy.

To this day, the Timken family continues to influence the Timken Company through stock ownership and active involvement in the company’s management. Ward J. Timken, Jr., has been a member of the board of directors since 2002 and has served as its chairman since 2005.[23] Timken regularly points out that family and business tradition remains of great value for the company. “People understand that when they come to work for The Timken Co. they’re representing me, my name, my family’s name and the other 24,999 people that work for the company.”[24] William R. Timken, the great grandson of Henry, served as ambassador to Germany from 2005 to 2008. Prior to this appointment, he spent 43 years working for the Timken family company. He was a strong supporter of the re-election of President George W. Bush, and contributed to his campaign with substantial financial contributions.

Social Status and Personality

Henry Timken was born in Germany but moved to the United States as a child. His knowledge of German was good but less sophisticated than that of his wife, as she claimed in a 1908 note to her son: “I wish I could go with you when you go to Germany. I can beat Pa altogether in that language, even if I do say it. He does not use good grammar.”[25] However, throughout his entire life immigrant entrepreneur Henry Timken was well integrated into German communities. The farmland near Sedalia, Missouri, where the family first settled, was part of a region selected by many families from Tarmstedt. The émigrés from that region apparently “rebuilt” their home community on the other side of the Atlantic.[26] In a history of Sedalia published in 1882, MacDonald Demuth highlighted the numerous native Germans in the area. In lofty, exaggerated language typical of the time, he wrote: “[A]s house after house went up on the fair spot where Sedalia had been founded . . . German perseverance, German diligence and German muscle were not despised, but eagerly called upon to lend a helping hand in converting the rolling prairie land into a blooming city.”[27] Henry Timken was acquainted with many compatriots in the area. Among them he found his future wife Fredericka Heinzelman, the daughter of another German carriage manufacturer.

St. Louis, the place of Henry’s first business endeavors, had a thriving and expanding German community. By 1850, Germans were the largest single ethnic group in the city, accounting for 22,340 out of 38,397 foreign-born residents, or 58 percent of the immigrant population.[28] In 1848, the city had a German Emigrant Aid Society to help arriving German immigrants secure employment, acquire English language skills, and become acquainted with American customs.[29] In 1869, the city counted seven German churches and a German cemetery. At least three regular German language newspapers were on sale in 1868: Anzeiger des Westens, Volks Zeitung, and Westliche Post.[30]

Similarly, Belleville, where Henry established his second business, had been favored by German immigrants since the 1830s. The German population of Belleville lived east of the city in a concentrated settlement pattern on about thirty-six square miles of land. Due to this concentration, the German settlement of Belleville was known as “Little Germany.” In the growing city, the German language was spoken and taught in schools and churches until the turn of the twentieth century, three out of five available newspapers (in 1874) were published in German, and most of the local officials, such as the first mayor Theodor J. Krafft, were Germans.[31] Furthermore, after leaving Belleville, Henry also served in a mostly German regiment in St. Louis during the Civil War.

Henry grew up in a religious family and community. The brief involvement of his father with the fundamentalist Stephanite sect shortly after their arrival indicates he was a devout Protestant. The fact that Henry’s brother Gerhard became a minister adds to the picture of a religious upbringing within the Timken family.

Though Henry emigrated early in his life, he maintained close ties to family and friends in Germany. Henry and his wife Fredericka traveled extensively. Though the exact number of trips is unknown, the couple visited Germany on several occasions. In 1892, Henry and his son H. H. visited several European countries, among them Germany, for six whole months. As H. H. later recalled, they “studied in considerable detail the progress being made by foreign inventors toward anti-friction bearings.”[32]

Henry’s travels to Germany in 1892 and 1895 provided him with a competitive advantage in his business because he was able to observe the progress of internal combustion engine technology made by Daimler and Benz, and the advanced state of automobile manufacturing in Germany and France. Also, Europe was well ahead of the United States in bearing development. In Germany, entrepreneur Phillipp Fischer and his son Friedrich had pioneered the mass production of balls for bearings with a grinding machine in Schweinfurt in 1883. Their factory – merged with the shop of locksmith Georg Schaefer – had become Kugelfischer Georg Schaefer in 1909. This firm and other German companies in the bearing industry had established a dominant position for Germany in this area of expertise to the extent that, up until World War I, most ball bearings in the US were imported from Germany. Henry’s trips may have given him ideas about how to improve his bearing designs by incorporating German advances in the field.

In addition to direct contact with his country of origin, Henry Timken relied on the German immigrant community in the U.S. and especially his extended family for support with his business ventures. Most of his business activities during his career were embedded in a network of relatives. As his son recalled, he urged his offspring to keep a sense of pride in the family name. “(A)bove all don’t set your name to anything you will ever have cause to be ashamed of.” For his son, this statement remained important as the business developed. “If there was any one thing which fixed it in my mind that we must continue to make our product better and better, it was the thought that it carried the family name,” Timkin said in an interview in 1924.[33] To honor his family, and in particular his wife Fredericka, he established at a cost of nearly $25,000 (approximately $611,000 in 2010) the “Fredericka Home” for senior citizens in San Diego in 1908.[34]

Besides doing business together, the Timken family shared a special interest in fine arts. Henry Timken was very musical and played the piano and pipe organ. His daughters Georgia and Cora Timken became well-known artists. Georgia Timken Frey studied in St. Louis at the St. Louis School of Fine Art and in Paris, where she regularly exhibited her pieces.[35] Cora Timken Burnett worked as an artist and sculptor. The third daughter Amelia later endowed the San Diego Museum of Art; Henry’s oldest son W. R. Timken became famous for his significant private art collection.

As a person, Henry was sociable and well-integrated into a circle of friends and colleagues. He was especially fascinated by advances in technology and eager to use them for the development of his business. Henry Timken was a renowned American inventor and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame on September 19, 1998, one of 460 inventors so honored.

Conclusion

Henry Timken founded a successful and long-lasting family business in the United States. His inventions in the field of anti-friction bearings were indispensable to the development of the American automobile and technical equipment industry. Despite his retreat from the company shortly after its founding, Henry’s ideas and patents inspired the development and expansion of the Timken Company. He was a respected American inventor and visitors can admire his bust in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

While being well-integrated into American society, Henry Timken was also an immigrant entrepreneur. Born in Germany and raised in a predominantly German-American community, he maintained close relationships throughout his life to his country of origin which he had left at a young age. He lived and learned among German-Americans and had a network of business contacts within his ethnic group. His repeated travels to Germany gave him an advantage in his career as an entrepreneur and inventor. Closely monitoring the developments of the German industry, Henry Timken learned about new technological opportunities. It is reasonable to assume that he applied the acquired expertise to his own enterprises in the US. At the same time, his visits gave friends and family in Germany the opportunity to learn about life and business on the other side of the Atlantic. The two-way knowledge transfer between Germany and the United States, as well as between German-Americans and other groups in American society, are deeply ingrained in the Timken story.

Notes

[1] Henry Timken, paraphrased by his son Henry H. Timken, quoted in O. D. Foster, “This Business Grew Nearly 200-Fold in 20 Years,” Forbes, November 15, 1924, 229-231, 236.

[2] For information about the Timken family in Tarmstedt see Patricia Timken Blodgett, The Timken Family in Germany (Cornwall, PA: published by the author, 1993).

[3] Johann, called John in the US, (1812-1893), Anne (1814-1815), Cord (1816-1821), Gerd (1819-1882), Cord (1821-unknown), Adelheid (1824-unknown), Jacob (1827-1904), Hinrich, called Henry in the US, (1831-1909), and Harmon (1835-1870). See Ibid.

[4]All 2010 dollar conversions in the article, unless otherwise noted, are based on Samuel H. Williamson, "Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1774 to present," MeasuringWorth, 2011, using the Consumer Price Index.

[5] Bettye Hobbs Pruitt, Timken. From Missouri to Mars. A Century of Leadership in Manufacturing (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1998), 12 and Walter O. Forster, Zion on The Mississippi. The Settlement of the Saxon Lutherans in Missouri, 1839-1841 (Saint Louis: Concordia Pub. House, 1953), 361, 535, 555.

[6] Blodgett, 5.

[7] Information about Caspar Schurmeier and quote in Thomas McLean Newson, Pen Pictures of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Biographical Sketches of Old Settlers. From the Earliest Settlement of the City, Up To and Including the Year 1857. Vol. I (Saint Paul:: published by the author, 1886), 540.

[8] Anonymous, “Henry Timken,” in: The Hub, vol. 37.8 (Nov. 1895), 1.

[9] Henry Timken of St. Louis Was Elected President of the National Association, St. Louis Republic, October 17, 1895, 3.

[10] A. S. Wilderman and A. A. Wilderman, Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of St. Clair County, Vol. II (Chicago: Munsell Publishing Company, 1907), 1036.

[11] Pruitt, Timken, 13. "A Man of Ideas. The Story of Henry Timken, Carriage Builder and Founder of A World-Wide Enterprise," Carriage Journal 17 (Spring 1980): 185-186.

[12] Pruitt, Timken, 14.

[13] Joanne Abel Goldman, “From Carriage Shop to Carriage Factory. The Effect of Industrialization on the Process of Manufacturing Carriages,” in Nineteenth Century American Carriages. Their Manufacturing, Decoration and Use (Stony Brook, NY: Museums of Stony Brook, 1987), 15-17. Value calculation according to endnote 4.

[14] Pruitt, Timken, 15-16.

[15] “New Investment by Capitalist,” Los Angeles Times, July 5, 1908, VI.

[16] The Timken Roller Bearing Company (ed.), Annual Report, Year Ended December 31, 1922.

[17] Pruitt, Timken, 76.

[18] Danny Miller and Isabelle Le Breton-Miller, Managing for the Long Run. Lessons in Competitive Advantage from Great Family Businesses (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2005), 79ff.

[19] The Timken Roller Bearing Company, The Timken Roller Bearing Company Annual Report. Year Ended December 31, 1922 (Canton, OH: Timken, 1922).

[20] The Timken Roller Bearing Company (ed.), Annual Report, Year Ended December 31, 1922.

[21] Edward Hungerford, Timken at War (Canton, OH: Priv. print., 1945).

[22] The Timken Company, Annual Report 2009 (Canton, OH: Timken, 2009).

[23] Previously he acted as president of the company’s Steel Group. Tim Timken holds a BA in marketing from Georgetown University and a Master of Business Administration from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. Before entering the family business in 1992, he managed an office of the government affairs consulting firm McGough & Associates in Washington, D.C.

[24] Matt McClellan, “Rolling Along. How Tim Timken Keeps his Company Ready to Face a Changing World,” Smart Business Akron, Canton, February 2008 (accessed August 4, 2011).

[25] Fredericka Timken to William R. Timken (August 26, 1908), in: Timken Company Archives, quoted in: Pruitt, Timken, 449, n30.

[26] Pruitt,Timken, 12.

[27] I. MacDonald Demuth, The History of Pettis County, Missouri, Including an Authentic History of Sedalia, Other Towns and Townships ([Philadelphia]: F.A. North, 1882), 569.

[28] United States Census Office and J. D. B. De Bow, Statistical View of the United States, Compendium of the Seventh Census (Washington, DC: Beverley Tucker, Senate Printer, 1854), 399.

[29] Howard L. Conrad, Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri. A Compendium of History and Biography For Ready Reference, Vol. III (New York: The Southern History Company, Haldeman, Conard & Co., 1901), 45.

[30] Henry Tanner and John B. Lee, St. Louis City Guide and Business Directory (St. Louis: St. Louis Book and News Co., 1868), 24, 38f.

[31] For details on Belleville see John Arkas Hawgood, The Tragedy of German-America (New York: Arno Press, 1970, reprint, original 1940). original 1940 #1745

[32] Foster, “Business,” 230.

[33] Ibid.

[34] “Passing of Philantropist. Wealthy Eastern Carriage Manufacturer, Noted for Good Deeds, Dies at Local Hotal,” Los Angeles Times, March 17, 1909.

[35] For more information on Georgia Timken Frey see Mabel Cameron, The Biographical Cyclopaedia of American Women (New York: Halvord, 1924), 382-393.

Cite this Entry

APA Style

"Fighting Friction: Henry Timken and the Tapered Roller Bearing." (2014) In Immigrant Entrepreneurship, Retrieved November 1, 2014, from Immigrant Entrepreneurship: http://www.immigrantentrepreneurship.org/entry.php?rec=28

Chicago Style

Lubinski, Christina. "Fighting Friction: Henry Timken and the Tapered Roller Bearing." In Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present, vol. 2, edited by William J. Hausman. German Historical Institute. Last modified June 19, 2012. http://www.immigrantentrepreneurship.org/entry.php?rec=28

MLA Style

"Fighting Friction: Henry Timken and the Tapered Roller Bearing," Immigrant Entrepreneurship, 2014, Immigrant Entrepreneurship. 1 Nov 2014 <http://www.immigrantentrepreneurship.org/entry.php?rec=28>

Portrait of Henry Timken, ca. 1900

  • A view showing the exterior of the Timken Axles plant
  • Modern Timken Tapered Roller Bearing
  • Ward J.
TOP