Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bearings: The Fuel Behind State Fairs

Ferris wheels and other carnival rides. Agricultural products and displays. Demo derbies and combine tournaments. You may think the only common tie between these items is the fact that they all appear at state fairs. However, you would be wrong; there is one other commonality we can think of, and that would be bearings.

It is that time of year when local county and state fairs are beginning to occur, and we know for a fact that bearings are all over the fairs, everywhere from the rides to the displays to the equipment. As bearing manufacturers, we like to think it is the bearings that keep the fairs running efficiently and successfully year after year.

County and state fairs were first started years ago in 1841 in order to place a focus on agriculture and food production.[1] In fact, the fairs were brought to fruition as a means of promoting agricultural and manufacturing production.[2] This tradition has maintained throughout the years; fairs across the country are held in conjunction with the harvest season. Not only do many of their fairs participate in 4H events, but they also hold educational programs and feature displays based around agriculture. And they are still attracting crowds; this year’s Wisconsin State Fair saw record attendances, who not only were able to enjoy many attractions and forms of entertainment, but also learn more about the farming industry as “the event at its core is about showcasing an industry that generates more than $50 billion in economic activity yearly in Wisconsin.”[3]

We mentioned that bearings play a prominent role in all county and state fairs, just as agriculture does. What keeps the Ferris Wheels running? What holds together the displays? What ensures equipment and transmission reliability in the auto cars? What enables agricultural equipment to run properly in the harshest conditions? That’s right – bearings (most especially PEER bearings)! Bearings, specifically radial or mounted unit type bearings, are used in a variety of applications and play an important role in keeping everything running smoothly and efficiently.

So as you head out to your state fair, check here for some of the oldest and largest state fairs, make sure to take notice of all of the bearings around you!