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Lately I have taken to looking up various uses of bearings to make this site more helpful and informative. That has taken me into antique bearing catalogs where I can peruse different bearings and their applications.
Two thing have struck me: 1) there are certain bearing styles that have been in use for a very long time and 2) a lot of old manufacturers have disappeared. For instance, the 14274 tapered roller bearing cup is one that we stock in large numbers. And one that also would fit a “Wallis” Tractor from 1932. Wallis tractors are long gone but people are still finding a use for that style of tapered roller bearing cup.
Wallis tractors were produced for a while in Racine, Wisconsin and were the result of a J.I. Case family fued. For a while, they were owned by the Massey-Harris company which later became Massey Ferguson. It's been a while since I have been in Racine, WI but I am pretty sure that factory is long gone. I hope I am wrong.
U.S. manufacturing had a long, proud history reflected in these catalogs: McCormick-Deering, Minneapolis-Moline, Massey-Harris, Majestic Tapered Roller bearings. Most are long gone or still exist only as part of a larger corporation.
One name that is still around, though, is John Deere. According to my catalog, the JD7367 is a 2582 tapered roller bearing cone that fits a 1934 Model B countershaft. A quick google search reveals that, although the Model B has come and gone, the JD7367 is still a good part number. That is unbelievable, especially when compared to the ever-shifting part numbers of Deere's rivals.
It has been a tough summer so far for farmers. King Corn is down to $3.00 and looks to stay that way for a while. If things continue like this, I fear we may lose more of our manufacturers. And, as farm sizes continue to increase, the demand for tractors will continue to decrease.
But hopefully tractor wheels will still be spinning a hundred years from now and they will still need bearings to help them spin. And if you happen to have an old Wallis tractor--or any old tractor--and need a bearing for it, please give us a call. We have a bunch of old catalogs and can probably track down the bearing you need.