Bantam Bearings Company
The Bantam Ball Bearing Company was organized in March 1905 in the state of Connecticut.
Mr. W.S. Rogers, founder of the bearing company, was connected with the Ball Bearing Company of Boston, Massachusetts, and in the year 1899 published the first ball bearing catalog used in the United States.
Until 1928 the company manufactured machine bearings in the town of Bantam, Connecticut, but the entire operation was moved to South Bend in July 1928 and a new plant built.
When manufacturing restarted in South Bend the company had 55 employees and by 1940 the workforce grew to 375. Over the first 12 years of existence in South Bend the company built several plant additions to handle in the increase in business.
In 1935 the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of The Torrington Bearing Company of Torrington, Connecticut, and in 1937 the company’s name was changed to Bantam Bearings Corporation to better describe the various lines of bearings which was manufactured.
Torrington Bearing Corporation was purchased by Ingersoll-Rand in 1968 and operated under this name until 2003. In 2003 the Timken Company approached Ingersoll-Rand and, under a purchase agreement, Timken took over the Ingersoll-Rand bearing division. This lasted until 2009 when the company was sold to JTEKT Corporation.
There is still a Timken bearing facility located on the west side of South Bend.