Staggered Roller Bearing

This is a four row staggered cylindrical roller bearing made by the Orange Roller Bearing Company of Orange, New Jersey during the 1950s. This bearing can handle heavy radial loads at high speeds due to the wide surface area and staggered configuration of the rollers. However, since these staggered roller bearings can only handle radial loads, they must be used in conjunction with ball bearings or tapered roller bearings to bear the axial load. The Anti Friction Bearing Manufacturers Association collected bearings for a public relations exhibit during the early 1950s, and donated them to the museum in 1977.
Simple bearings have been used for thousands of years reducing friction on turning parts like the axles of carts. In the late 1800s and early 1900s advances in machining and production expanded bearing use in all types of machines greatly increasing their life and precision. Bearings reduce friction on turning surfaces and keep them running true. Bearings come in a variety of shapes and sizes (including ball, roller, tapered, and simple friction). Modern bearings are often set in an inner and outer ring (called a race) sometimes with cages (separators) spacing the bearings. Changes to the size, shape, alignment, race, and cage allow for bearings to be used in almost any industry—from industrial turbines and automobiles to household mixers and computer hard drives.
Currently not on view
Object Name
overall: 1 3/4 in x 3 1/8 in; 4.445 cm x 7.9375 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Industry & Manufacturing
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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