Yesterday & Today’s Balcrank


Balcrank began in 1906 in the heart of Cincinnati, Ohio's "Machine Tool Colony" as the Cincinnati Ball Crank Company.  The first products produced by Balcrank were handwheels and cranks used by the machine tool industry. That same year Balcrank became the first mass producer of starting cranks for automobiles. In 1908, Balcrank entered the automotive industry with the manufacturing of steering drag links.  The steering drag links were an immediate hit.  Almost every car manufacturer adopted these drag links and for the first time, steering a car became an easy task.

To follow its drag links were ball-sockets for spark and throttle control.  Next was the famous Balcrank “bumpers.”  From that time on, Balcrank’s place in the automotive picture was set.

Always looking forward, in 1922 Balcrank entered the lubrication field.  The company secured both the patents and services of Clyde Butler, one of the nation’s leading lubrication engineers.  His inventions made Balcrank a pioneer in the automotive lubrication industry.  His inventions, which the world has adopted and still use today, remain his legacy.

The Cincinnati Ball Crank Company got its name from the production of ball-sockets and hand cranks.  The company was commonly referred to as Ball Crank.  In 1933, the Board of Directors voted to change the name Ball Crank to Balcrank, Inc.

In 1943, Balcrank received the three-star Army-Navy “E” Award, also known as the Army-Navy Production Award.  This award was presented to facilities doing outstanding war production and construction work.  The awarded facilities were particularly outstanding in the production of materials for the War and Navy Departments.  Excellence in quality and quantity of production was two of the determining factors in granting awards.

After the war, Balcrank returned to its roots, manufacturing aftermarket lubrication equipment.  Over the next 50 years, Balcrank introduced an average of three new products a year including the Pride series pumps, fluid inventory control systems, used fluid evacuation systems, and Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) dispensing systems.

On July 9, 2009, Balcrank Corporation was acquired by Linter North America, a subsidiary of Linter Investments of Madrid Spain.

Balcrank is one of the oldest manufacturers of automotive products.  Many of the methods and devices used in lubrication service today stem from the primary patents of Balcrank and its engineers.  Balcrank continues its rich history and is still at the heart of the American automotive industry.  Since its beginning, we have been providing our customers with the best products for the ever-changing automotive and industrial markets that exist today.

Balcrank entered the lubrication equipment field in 1922 and and since then has developed many "first' in the industry, thus attaining a recognized position of leadership in design and engineering progress.  All Balcrank equipment is built to meet the highest standards of quality control and performance requirements. 

new building


1906    The Cincinnati Ball Crank Company is formed
1906    First in the mass production of machine handles and cranks for the machine tool and automotive industries
1908    First in mass production of the ball-socket type of tie-rod and drag link steering connection
1920    First and only mass producer of tubular bumpers for automobiles
1922    Enters into the lubrication equipment field and invents and produces the first electric grease gun
1923    First patents on hydraulic coupler and fittings now universally used today
1924    Developed first air operated high-pressure/volume grease gun
1926    Developed first air powered lubrication pump
1930    Developed first enclosed hose reels
1933    Company changes name to Balcrank, Inc.
1935    First pump with Deluxe Container covers for weathered environments
1948    Engineered and released new Jet Power air operated pump
1958    Introduced larger capacity hose reels in “deluxe” cabinet
1960    Developed and introduced world’s first high pressure coolant system
1965    Patents on Jet Pulser high-pressure coolant system
1968    Introduced the original Director inventory control system
1987    Introduced the Director Jr. simplified inventory control system
1994    Introduced the Dataflo electronic digital control handle
1996    Introduced the Roughneck self-evacuating drain
1998    Cutting Edge high-pressure coolant segment formed
1998    Variable speed Cutting Edge high-pressure coolant systems developed
1999    Patents on Roughneck design
1999    Introduced Panther® HP  3:1 and 5:1 air operated pumps
2002    Introduced Panther® HP  50:1 grease pumps
2003    Introduced Tiger HP 5:1 pump
2004    Introduced mobile cart based 55 g drum pump Packages
2005    Introduced custom color program for hose reels
2005    Introduced Lion™ HP  5:1, 10:1, and 50:1 pumps
2005    Introduced grease inductor pump systems for Lion™ HP and Panther® HP grease pumps
2005    Introduced air operated oil evacuation system
2006    Introduced Pump Sentinel, a pump shutoff control system
2006    Introduced Spectrum 1000™ fluid Inventory Control System
2007    Implemented structural improvements to Premium reels
2007    Introduced electrically operated e-vac oil evacuation system
2007    Introduced fusion wireless fluid inventory control systems
2007    Introduced complete tank packages for oil and transmission fluid
2008    Introduced new generation of truck drain
2008    Introduced a full range of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) dispensing systems
2009    Balcrank acquired by Linter North America, a subsidiary of Linter Investments of Madrid Spain.
2009    Introduced  Auto Lock nozzle
2009    Introduced  3:1 Lynx lube pump
2009    Introduced ILM (In-Line metered) series Control Handles in both analog and electronic display
2010    Introduces 1:1, 2:1 and 5:1 Lynx pumps
2011    Introduced Signature Evolution Series hose reel
2011    Introduced NEW Redesigned Signature Series Premium hose reel
2011    Introduced Lynx 55:1 Lynx Portable Package
2012    Introduced EV and EVX hose reels
2012    Introduced Synergy fluid inventory management systems
2013    Introduced 3/4” High Flow dispense valve
2013    Introduced CenterFlo air operated diaphragm pumps
2013    Introduced Digital Register (DR) meter