Pillow Block Bearing

Description
This pillow block bearing was made by the Ahlberg Bearing Company of Chicago, Illinois around 1950. Pillow blocks have a bearing already built into a metal unit that is ready to be mounted. Once mounted, the pillow block unit secures the bearing for reliable operation in small industrial applications. 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.
Location
Currently not on view
Measurements
overall: 5 1/4 in x 6 1/4 in x 8 3/4 in; 13.335 cm x 15.875 cm x 22.225 cm
ID Number
MC.336106
catalog number
336106
accession number
1977.0585
Credit Line
Anti-Friction Bearing Manufacturers Association
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Industry & Manufacturing
Bearings
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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