Discovered some fun reading material this morning on mechanical bearings, and thought it might be fun to share.
In the "Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Volume 27" by American Society of Mechanical engineers on page 441, I found this excerpt...
[ VIEW ] the original source: "Both ball and roller bearings are of hoary origin. The rollers used under a block of stone by the ancient Egyptians and in exactly the same way under the skids of a crate containing the latest product of the modern machine shop show familiarly the advantage of the substitution of rolling for sliding friction."
So, the essence of bearing technology dates to the Egyptians! Neat! The book goes on with more information that I bet you'll find interesting -- dips deeper into what led to the creation of ball and roller bearings. Give it a look!
For some other great history info on the evolution of mechanical bearings, check out the history section on the Wikipedia page about bearings.