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Our History

Our History

Founded in 1923 as The Ohio Ball Bearing Company in Cleveland, Ohio, Applied® has grown to become a leading value-added distributor and technical solutions provider of industrial motion, fluid power, flow control, automation technologies, and related maintenance supplies. Our leading brands, specialized services, and comprehensive knowledge serve MRO and OEM end users in virtually all industrial markets through our multi-channel capabilities that provide choice, convenience, and expertise.


The Company’s name was changed from The Ohio Ball Bearing Company to Bearings, Inc. in 1953 and was first publicly traded on the American Stock Exchange that same year. In 1997, the Company changed its name to Applied Industrial Technologies to more accurately reflect its diversified product lines, and is currently traded on the New York Stock Exchange with the symbol AIT. From the 1950s through the early 1990s, the Company targeted U.S. expansion with small and mid-size acquisitions. In the mid-1990s, the Company increased the overall pace of acquisitions, expanding its fluid power operations in particular. Since 2000, Applied has also grown internationally with locations in Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.


Applied has the know-how to serve a diverse customer base. Years of experience combined with a solid understanding of industry processes and applications add to the Company’s extensive product and service offering for critical industry requirements.

General Industry • Industrial Machinery • Food • Forest Products • Oil & Gas • Primary Metals • Mining • Chem/Petrochem • Government • Transportation • Fabricated Metals • Cement • Utilities


“Taking Care of the Customer” has remained Applied’s guiding principle throughout its nearly 100 years. Associates are focused on providing value-added solutions, and a commitment to excellence and teamwork continues to demonstrate the Company’s dedication to world-class customer service.


Today, Applied operates more than 560 locations with more than 6,000 employee associates, providing choice, convenience and expertise via our multiple channels to market, including 400+ service centers, 70+ fluid power locations, 65 flow control sales & service locations, growing automation technologies, Maintenance Supplies & Solutions® on-site vendor managed inventory, and enhanced e-commerce site. Applied is proud to have a leading market position, excellent geographic coverage and the title of largest fluid power distributor in North America.