Re: Friction Bearings – How Old Is This Term?

Daniel A. Mitchell

"before the development of the roller journal bearing” ...

This type bearing was known to the ROMANS and other early historical civilizations. Their versions were crude to be sure, but they well understood the principals involved. Wooden and stone, and later bronze, balls and rollers were used. Their early purpose was mostly to move or rotate heavy weights. If you want the roots of the terms used for bearings, you’ll need to go back a LONG ways.

It’s not the roller principal that’s important here, but the ability to make PRECISION components capable of running at higher speeds. This developed sometime in the mid-1800s, and was well accomplished by WWI. It was the ability to make precision anti-friction bearings at low cost in large quantities that revolutionized the industry.

Dan Mitchell

On Jul 4, 2021, at 11:30 PM, D. Scott
 <blindog@...> wrote:

But were they using "friction bearing" to describe a type of journal bearing or were they using it correctly to describe one type of side plate bearing?

"Friction bearing" is an oxymoron since a bearing by definition is an anti-friction device.  

As has been pointed out to me in the past, plain journal bearings are a type of sleeve bearing, and the "solid" journal bearing is a variant developed later (1940s?), so not all plain bearings are solid bearings.  But before the development of the roller journal bearing there was really no reason to call journal bearings anything other than just journal bearings.  The use of the inaccurate and unnecessary term "friction bearing" had to start somewhere. 

Scott Chatfield

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