IT would be difficult to state with any certainty exactly when the first anti‐friction bearing was made or used, since it would be necessary first to define an anti‐friction bearing in its broadest sense. For generations the term anti‐friction bearing has been taken to include ball, roller and needle bearings, i.e. those bearings that have, in theory at least, only point or line contact with the shaft or journal. An interesting historical account has been given in the opening chapter of the book “Rolling Bearings”, where the author shows that the advantages of rollers were realised many years B.C. Many examples of balls and rollers being used to reduce friction were employed during the middle ages, and in the early sixteenth century cast‐iron balls replaced those of stone for offensive purposes for placing under gun carriages to render their movement easy.
(1952), "The Lubrication of BALL AND ROLLER BEARINGS: PART ONE Reasons for and Duties of the Lubricant", Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, Vol. 4 No. 9, pp. 12-17. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb052188
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