Henry Timken

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Henry Timken
Henry Timken.jpg
Born (1831-08-16)August 16, 1831
Bremen, Germany
Died March 16, 1909(1909-03-16) (aged 77)
San Diego, California
Resting place
West Lawn Cemetery, Canton, Ohio
Occupation industrialist

Henry Timken (August 16, 1831 Bremen, Germany - March 16, 1909 San Diego, California)[1][2] was an inventor who was born in Bremen, Germany. He founded the Timken Roller Bearing Company, later called the Timken Company in 1899, which is located in Canton, Ohio. Timken was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame on September 19, 1998. Henry Timken was one of six inducted into the hall of fame at ceremonies done at the E J Thomas Hall in Akron, OH.

William Robert Timken, Jr., Timken's great-grandson, the retired chairman and chief executive officer of The Timken Co, and who was the United States Ambassador to Germany, received the award on behalf of his great-grandfather. "Tim" Timken ushered his family's bearings and steel maker from old-school management into manufacturing's modern era.


Henry Timken patented the tapered roller bearing in 1898. A year later, he established the Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company which grew rapidly as the product was in great demand by cars, trucks, and tractors. By 1923, 90% of the country's production came from Timken. His slogan "Wherever wheels and shafts turn", describes the widespread use for bearings—trains, conveyors, elevators, aircraft engines, even space shuttle landing wheels.

Emigrating to America as a child with his family, he left the family's Missouri farm to enter the wagon-making business. He opened his own company in St. Louis in 1855, and introduced several improvements to the carriages his firm produced, including his patented "Timken spring", which made him a fortune. Other patents included the Timken roller bearing.[2] He retired in 1897 and settled in San Diego, California.


  1. ^ "Deaths in the Trade". The Carriage Monthly 45: 21. April 1909. 
  2. ^ a b Foye, Gerald F. (2002). Royal R. Rife Humanitarian: Betrayed And Persecuted. New Century Press. pp. 42–44. ISBN 0-9659613-3-8.