Sealmaster History

In 1935 the Sealmaster ball bearing was born. Sealmaster bearing inserts were manufactured at an external facility and assembled into housings at the Stephens-Adamson plant in Aurora. By 1946 the business had grown to a point where Stephens-Adamson built a new facility devoted to the exclusive manufacture of Sealmaster ball bearings. This facility adjoined the existing Stephens-Adamson plant. Contributing to the growth of the Sealmaster bearing were these important features contributed by Mr. Shafer:

  • A locking pin and dimple system that prevents outer race rotation and ensures positive lubrication.
  • A land riding brass retainer which minimizes ball wear.
  • The felt-lined flinger seal for effective sealing against dirt.
  • The inner race ball-path is zone hardened, so that the extended section could be left in its original soft state. Thus, the set- screw holes locking the unit to the shaft could be drilled and tapped

SealmasterĀ® continued to grow and in 1966 a new plant and office facility was constructed on a 40 acre site. The site was located on the eastern edge of Aurora, IL. In 1969, Borg-Warner Corporation of Chicago purchased the Stephens-Adamson Co., merging it into the Morse Chain Division located in Ithaca, New York. Morse chain was established in 1898 as a manufacturer of bicycle and automotive drive chains. Their business grew as the automotive industry prospered and Morse continued to be the leader in the automotive engine timing business. In addition, the Morse developed HYVO chain which is used in the drive line of a number of the world's cars.

1983 was the year that Emerson Electric Company added Morse Industrial to their portfolio of companies. This resulted in Emerson having two mounted bearing product lines: Browning and Sealmaster. In compliance with Federal Trade Commission findings, Emerson sold the Browning mounted ball bearing business to Hub City. Emerson was determined to keep a mounted ball bearing brand under the Browning name alive and initiated the manufacture of a revitalized product line. Browning manufacturing was established in 1896 as The Ohio Valley Pulley Works. Their business expanded into V-belts, sheaves, bushings, sprockets, gears, and speed reducers.

In 1986, Emerson was ready to consolidate its army of power transmission companies under one organization named Emerson Power Transmission Corporation. Today, Emerson Power Transmission bearing products include Mounted and Unmounted products. The Mounted offering includes Sealmaster Ball and Roller, Browning Ball and Roller, System Plast Ball, and Rod Ends. The Unmounted offering includes Spherical Bearings, McGill Aircraft and Needle Roller Bearings, Cam Followers, Rollway Angular Contact, Tapered Roller Thrust, Extra Capacity Metric Cylindrical Roller, and Spherical Roller Bearings.

Today Sealmaster continues its focus on performance products. They are positioned to grow the 10,000 specialty products and committed to develop more problem solvers like the corrosion resistant Beverage Bearing.

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