New Departure specialized in the manufacture of radial ball bearings for a wide range of military and industrial applications during the 20th century. At the organization's peak, it produced ultra-precision single- and double-row ball bearings with a smaller focus on self-aligning ball bearings, thin-section ball bearings, angular bearings and thrust ball bearings.Continue Reading
The New Departure Bell Company was established in 1888 and began manufacturing bearings in 1908. The company developed the first double-row bearing, which was the first bearing capable of handling both radial and bidirectional thrust loads. New Departure also created the first angular bearing for handling large thrust loads.
Ownership of the company changed multiple times over the 20th century. In World War II, under General Motors, New Departure established a large presence in military applications due to the high-precision products it offered. The company produced around 287 million bearings during WWII, most of which were manufactured for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber aircraft and the US Airforce Norden Bombsight. The company was awarded the Army-Navy "E" for Excellence for its services during the war.
After the merger of New Departure and Hyatt Roller Bearing Division in 1965, the company's focus became limited to only high-precision aircraft bearing. In 1993, the bearing operation was discontinued altogether.Learn more about Car Parts & Maintenance