Roller Bearing

The Torrington Company of Torrington, Connecticut manufactured this double-row caged roller bearing during the 1950s. Roller bearings can support heavier axial and radial loads than ball bearings, as the load is distributed over a wider area. The bearing is inscribed “45SD23 Y1.” 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.
BSimple 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
overall: 1 3/8 in x 3 7/8 in; 3.4925 cm x 9.8425 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Anti-Friction Bearing Manufacturers Association
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Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Industry & Manufacturing
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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