If you think about all the technological advances that influenced the way we live today, bearings probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. The truth is that we owe a lot to this often-overlooked component.
The concept of a bearing can be traced back to rolling bodies used around the world, including Ancient Egypt. Rolling bodies were used to speed up the movement of large objects. In many cases, it was as simple as placing round timbers underneath rocks to roll them to where they were needed.
While rolling bodies are probably the earliest examples of this, the wheel is mostly responsible for inspiring the bearing. If you think about it, wheels and bearings are quite similar in concept – both work on the principle of rotation around a shaft. The advent of the wheel increased the speed with which large objects could be moved and decreased the wear and friction associated with other rolling bodies.
This brings us to bearings.
It should come as no surprise that the concept was originally the brainchild of Leonardo da Vinci. Like many of his ideas, his bearing design never made it off the paper.
Centuries later, bearings played a huge role in the Industrial Revolution. It was adapted and refined to suit different applications, resulting in the many different types of bearings we see today, as well as technological advances made in that period and even until today.
Africa Bearings is proud to supply the South African market with various kinds of bearings and related products, thereby contributing to how we live our modern lives and possibly playing a part in future advancements.