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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 distributor of bearings, power transmission products, engineered fluid power components and systems, specialty flow control solutions, and other industrial supplies, serving MRO and OEM customers in virtually every industry. In addition, Applied provides engineering, design and systems integration for industrial, fluid power, and flow control applications, as well as customized mechanical, fabricated rubber, fluid power, and flow control shop services. Applied also offers storeroom services and inventory management solutions that provide added value to its customers.


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 95 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 600 locations with over 6,600 employee associates, providing choice, convenience and expertise via our multiple channels to market, including 425+ service centers, 70+ fluid power locations, 65+ flow control sales & service locations, Maintenance Supplies & Solutions® on-site vendor managed inventory, and enhanced Applied.com e-commerce site. Applied is proud to have a leading market position, excellent geographic coverage and the title of largest fluid power distributor in the world.