Hyatt Roller Bearing Company
Written by Bill Bowman
Hyatt Roller Bearing Company was founded in 1892 by John Wesley Hyatt. In 1895, Alfred P. Sloan’s father, an early and important investor in Hyatt, secured a position for him as a draftsman at Hyatt’s home office in Harrison, New Jersey. Sloan had just graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1901, at the age of 26, Sloan was named president of Hyatt. Under his guidance, Hyatt grew to be one of the most profitable and important bearing manufacturers. Oldsmobile was Hyatt’s first automotive customer, and the company quickly added most other automobile manufactures to its customer list.
Hyatt eventually established itself as the key bearing supplier to companies providing General Motors with automobile components from axles to transmissions. The Sloan family invested more than $50,000 in Hyatt Roller Bearing Company.
William Durant, President of General Motors sensing the importance of bringing critical parts suppliers in house acquired Hyatt in 1916 for $13.5 million, along with bearing manufacturer New Departure Manufacturing, Westom-Mott Axle, Remy Electric Company, Periman Rim Company, and Dayton Engineering Laboratories. The businesses were put under the United Motors Company name and Alfred Sloan was named its President. In 1918, General Motors acquired United Motors outright and Sloan became a GM Vice President leading to the GM President title in 1923. By 1930, the Sloan family's $50,000 investment in Hyatt Roller Bearing was worth $3.5 million in GM stock.
In 1965, General Motors merged the New Departure Division and the Hyatt Bearing Division into the New Departure-Hyatt Bearing Division.
In 1986, New Departure-Hyatt Bearing exited the commercial ball bearing business, retaining only the ultra-precision aircraft engine bearing segment.
In 1989, New Departure-Hyatt Bearing Division and Delco Moraine Division were merged to create Delco Moraine-NDH Division.
In 1992, the Delco Moraine-NDH Division merged with Delco Products and became Delco Chassis Division.
In 1993, the aircraft bearing operation was discontinued ending the era of bearing manufacture.
Today, New Departure and Hyatt are brands owned and sold by General Bearing Company of New York.